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Fed raises interest rates by 0.25% in an effort to control inflation

Mortgage Rates
Posted at 10:19 AM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 14:30:05-04

The Federal Reserve raised key interest rates by 0.25% Wednesday in an effort to tame the worst inflation since the 1970s.

This marks the start of its effort to curb the high inflation that has followed the recovery from the recession.

As recently as December, Fed officials had expected to raise rates just three times this year.

Now, its projected seven hikes would raise its short-term rate to 1.875% at the end of 2022.

The central bank’s policymakers expect inflation to remain elevated and to end 2022 at 4.3%, according to updated quarterly projections they released Wednesday.

That’s far above the Fed’s 2% annual target.

The officials also now forecast much slower economic growth this year, of 2.8%, down from its 4% estimate in December.

In February, annual inflation reached 7.9% and goods experienced the steepest rise in prices since 1982.

Chair Jerome Powell has said that the country needs to move away from low interest rates, as they’re not “appropriate for the current situation in the economy."

The Fed's hike is expected to raise credit card interest rates from about 16% to 17%.

Should that happen, monthly minimum payments will go up, and if that's all a person pays, the debt will be $300-$400 more in the end.

That's a big impact when the average credit card debt in the U.S. is around $5,000.

When it comes to car loans, the rate hike will likely raise a monthly payment on a $25,000 car about $5 to $15.

In terms of homes, a $400,000 mortgage would be around $200 more each month and at least $70,000 more over 30 years.

That may impact someone's decision to buy and could cool off a red-hot housing market.

There is at least one benefit from the change – people will earn more interest from their savings accounts.