Federal Interest Rates

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Federal Reserve policy makers have raised the benchmark federal funds rate another quarter percentage point, to four and a-quarter percent.

The 13th consecutive quarter-point increase since the Fed began raising rates in June of last year pushes the federal fund rate to the highest level in four and a-half years. But the increase by the Fed's Open Market Committee is what most economists expected.

The F-O-M-C also has signaled that its campaign to raise interest rates to fight inflation is drawing to an end. That hint is in the form of a slight change in the public statement in which the Fed dropped the description of current rate hikes as accommodative.

Wall Street has been looking for signs from the Fed's accompanying economic assessment that the central bank is moving closer to stopping its program of hikes.

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