The Federal Reserve is paving the way for possible interest rate hikes next year, in an effort to contain stubbornly high inflation.
At the conclusion of a two-day policy meeting Wednesday, the central bank announced plans to phase out its large-scale bond-buying program faster than initially planned. The Fed started purchasing bonds during the pandemic as a way to keep borrowing costs across the economy low and to prevent any market disruptions.
Ending the bond purchases earlier would give the Fed more flexibility to raise interest rates sooner, if necessary, to keep prices from spiraling out of control. The central bank said previously it wanted to stop its bond purchases before considering raising interest rates.