Braking Down The Noise

Fed’s Inflation Fight Has Some Economists Fearing an Unnecessarily Deep Downturn

Rapid rate increases provide less time for central bankers to study their economic effects

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Some economists fear the Federal Reserve—humbled after waiting too long to withdraw its support of a booming economy last year—is risking another blunder by potentially raising interest rates too much to combat high inflation.

The Fed has lifted rates by 0.75 percentage point at each of its past three meetings, bringing its benchmark federal-funds rate to a range between 3% and 3.25% last month—the fastest pace of increases since the 1980s. Officials have indicated they could make a fourth increase of 0.75 point at their Nov. 1-2 meeting and raise the rate above 4.5% early next year.

 

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