The Fed projects raising rates as high as 5.1% before ending inflation battle


Federal Reserve Bank Board Chairman Jerome Powell answers reporters’ questions during a news conference following a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FMOC) on November 02, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Getty Images | Chip Somodevilla

The Federal Reserve will hike interest rates as high as 5.1% in 2023 before the central bank ends its fight against runaway inflation, according to its median forecast released on Wednesday.

The expected “terminal rate” of 5.1% is equivalent to a target range of 5%-5.25%. The forecast is higher than the 4.6% projected by the Fed in September.

The Fed announced a 50-basis-point rate hike Wednesday, taking the borrowing rate to a targeted range between 4.25% and 4.5%, the highest level in 15 years.

The so-called dot-plot, which the Fed uses to signal its outlook for the path of interest rates, showed 17 of the 19 “dots” would take rates above 5% in 2023. Seven of the 19 committee members saw rates rising above 5.25% next year.

For 2024, the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee projected that rates would fall to 4.1%, a higher level than previously indicated.

Here are the Fed’s latest targets:

“The historical record cautions strongly against prematurely loosening policy. We will stay the course, until the job is done,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said during a press conference Wednesday.

The series of rate hikes are expected to slow down the economy. The Summary of Economic Projections from the Fed showed that the central bank expected GDP gains at just 0.5%, barely above what would be considered a recession.

The committee also raised its median anticipation of its favored core inflation measure to 4.8%, up 0.3 percentage points from the September projections.


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