To face the upcoming challenge, the US Federal Reserve raised its benchmark lending rate on Wednesday, as it sought to strike a balance between curbing high inflation and averting further upheaval in the commercial banking sector. The quarter-point increase, which was in line with expectations, lifted their interest rate target to between 4.75 and 5 percent at the end of a two-day policy meeting, the Fed said in a statement.
The policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) added that "some additional policy firming may be appropriate" to get to a stance that is sufficiently restrictive to bring inflation down.
The latest increase was the same size as the central bank's previous rate decision in February, and marks its ninth straight rate hike. The Fed also updated its economic projections on Wednesday, slightly lowering its 2023 GDP growth projections 2023 to 0.4 percent from 0.5 percent in December.