The Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the ninth time in a row

DORAL, FL – Interest rates went up again on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve policymakers voted unanimously in that direction.

They raised their benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point to just under 5% in an attempt to fight high inflation. This is the ninth consecutive time the Fed makes increases.

In the current economy, consumer prices continue to climb at a rapid rate with an annual inflation in February of 6% — down from 9.1% last June, but still well above the Fed’s target of 2%.

It’s because of this that members of the Fed’s rate-setting committee think slighly higher rates may be necessary to restore price stability. Even more so, on average policymakers said rates climbing by another quarter-percentage point by the end of this year is expected, according to new projections that were also released on Wednesday.

“The Committee anticipates that some additional policy firming may be appropriate,” the Fed said in a statement.

The decision comes after the recent collapse of two regional banks in the U.S. and the already stressful situation many people face for how expensive it’s becoming, for example, to seek car loans, which will be even less affordable under the new raises.

Following the banks collapse, some observers had urged the central bank to temporarily slow down its rate hikes in order to assess what happened with Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank earlier this month.

“My colleagues and I are acutely aware that high inflation imposes significant hardship as it erodes purchasing power, especially for those least able to meet the higher cost of essentials like food, housing, and transportation,” Fed chairman Jerome Powell told reporters during his news conference after the meeting.


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