The Federal Reserve is poised this week to accelerate its most drastic steps in three decades to attack inflation by making it costlier to borrow — for a car, a home, a business deal, a credit card purchase — all of which will compound Americans’ financial strains and likely weaken the economy.
Yet with inflation having surged to a 40-year high, the Fed has come under extraordinary pressure to act aggressively to slow spending and curb the price spikes that are bedeviling households and companies.
After its latest rate-setting meeting ends Wednesday, the Fed will almost certainly announce that it’s raising its benchmark short-term interest rate by a half-percentage point — the sharpest rate hike since 2000. The Fed will likely carry out another half-point rate hike at its next meeting in June and possibly at the next one after that, in July. Economists foresee still further rate hikes in the months to follow.
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