The US Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates over recent months to try and bring down soaring inflation. This approach has been mirrored by central banks worldwide, with interest rates rocketing in other countries, including the UK and Australia. However, a recent report suggests that the rate hikes are not working to bring inflation under control in the United States.
The latest US inflation data was released last week, raising questions over whether the spate of rate hikes is having any significant impact on inflation levels. Experts now say the rises aren’t having the desired effect because the critical factors behind continued inflation are energy costs, supply chain issues, and corporate pricing.
Fears over a major recession
Some experts are now concerned that the country could end up being steered into a recession it could have avoided. The reason is that they believe that data shows interest rates are not the most crucial factor in inflation, despite the approach taken by the central bank.
Rakeen Mabud, the chief economist at the progressive Groundwork Collaborative think tank, said: “Raising interest rates isn’t working, and the Fed’s overly aggressive actions are shoving our economy to the brink of a devastating recession. Supply chain bottlenecks, a volatile global energy market, and rampant corporate profiteering can’t be solved by additional rate hikes.”
The US central bank has increased rates five times so far this year. In addition, bank officials have said that they will continue to take aggressive action over monetary policy and that more interest rate hikes will come.
While senior bank officials have acknowledged this will make life difficult for many people, they have insisted it is necessary to bring inflation under control. Many households and businesses are suffering the impact of the rate increases, and the situation is already creating issues for mortgage holders and those trying to buy property for the first time.
Mortgage rates rising while property sales fall
The data shows that the US Federal Reserve’s strategy is having some impact, as it has resulted in higher interest rates and plummeting property sales. The data also shows that the number of job vacancies has dropped sharply, and there has been a slowdown in wage growth.
However, the Consumer Price Index data for September shows that the central bank’s approach has had little impact on pricing. In August, inflation increased by 0.1%, and in September, it increased by 0.4%, taking inflation to 8.2%.