Fed Creeps Toward Next Phase in Its Fight Against Inflation

Federal Reserve officials are expected to leave interest rates unchanged at their meeting on Wednesday, buying themselves more time to assess whether borrowing costs are high enough to weigh down the economy and wrestle inflation under control.But investors are likely to focus less on what policymakers do on Wednesday — and more on what they say about the future. Wall Street will closely watch whether Fed policymakers still expect to make another interest rate increase before the end of the year or whether they are edging closer to the next phase in their fight against rapid inflation.Central bankers have already raised interest rates to a range of 5.25 to 5.5 percent, the highest level in 22 years. By making it more expensive to borrow to buy a house or expand a business, they are trying to slow demand across the economy, making it harder for companies to charge more without losing customers and slowing price increases.Officials predicted …

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