Fed’s quarter-point rate hike may be its last for a while. How it affects you and stocks.

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the 10th consecutive time on Wednesday, as expected, but suggested it may pause its aggressive fight against inflation. Even so, any halt may not feel like much relief to consumers who’ve suffered through the last nine.  

With the 0.25-percentage-point increase, the short-term benchmark fed funds target range is 5% to 5.25%, the highest level since 2006 and up from near zero at the start of 2021. That's also the fastest pace of tightening since the early 1980s. The increase boosts the Fed funds rate above the consumer inflation rate, which some economists have said is necessary to slow the economy enough to curb inflation. Annual March inflation stood at 5%.

Medora Lee | USA TODAY

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