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As traders work and watch, a news conference held by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is displayed at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Wednesday, July 27. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday (July 27) raised its benchmark interest rate by a hefty three-quarters of a point for a second straight time in its most aggressive drive in more than three decades to tame high inflation, according to an Associated Press report.

The Fed’s move will raise its key rate, which affects many consumer and business loans, to a range of 2.25% to 2.5%, its highest level since 2018.

Speaking at a news conference after the Fed’s latest policy meeting, Chair Jerome Powell offered mixed signals about the central bank’s likely next moves. He stressed that the Fed remains committed to defeating chronically high inflation while holding out the possibility that it may soon downshift to smaller rate hikes.

And even as worries grow that the Fed’s efforts could eventually cause a recession, Powell passed up several opportunities to say the central bank would slow its hikes if a recession occurred while inflation was still high.

Roberto Perli, an economist at Piper Sandler, an investment bank, said the Fed chair emphasized that “even if it caused a recession, bringing down inflation is important.”

Read the full Associated Press report.