Here are key takeaways from the Federal Reserve's interest-rate decision and statement on Wednesday:
  • Federal Open Market Committee raises benchmark rate by 25 basis points, as expected, to target range of 4.5%-4.75%; marks a step down from December's 50 basis-point hike and the four straight 75 basis-point moves before that
  • Statement repeats prior language that “ongoing increases” in main rate will be appropriate while saying Fed will consider “extent of future increases,” a slight change from the prior language on the “pace” of hikes
  • Language suggests Fed inclined toward quarter-point rate hikes at next two meetings in March and May, rather than toward a pause after March
  • Fed says “inflation has eased somewhat but remains elevated” and removes prior references to causes of inflation including the pandemic; also omits a prior reference to considering “public health” as a factor in decision-making
  • Decision is unanimous

(Bloomberg) -- For Bloomberg's TOPLive blog on the Fed decision and press conference, click here

--With assistance from Chris Middleton.

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