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Interest Rates Held at 22-Year High

The U.S. Federal Reserve voted Wednesday to hold interest rates at a 22-year high for a second straight meeting, as it moves to slow stubborn inflation without damaging the strong economy.

The Fed’s decision to keep its benchmark lending rate between 5.25% and 5.5% gives policymakers time to “assess additional information and its implications for monetary policy,” the central bank said in a statement.

“The process of getting inflation sustainably down to 2% has a long way to go,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell said at a news conference Wednesday, referring to the Fed’s long-term target for interest rates.

He added that the Fed, “is not thinking about rate cuts right now, at all.”

The Fed’s widely expected decision to hold rates steady marks the first time officials have done so at two consecutive meetings since they began tightening monetary policy last year.

Since peaking at more than 7% in June 2022, inflation as measured by the Fed’s favored yardstick has slowed by more than half – although it remains stuck firmly above 3%.

Many analysts, including those employed by the Fed, were predicting the United States would enter a recession this year due to the rapid pace of interest rate hikes.

Read the full Industry Week report here.

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