Fed Hawks Force Interest Rates Higher Despite Declining Inflation

Following today’s FOMC meeting, Fed Chair Jerome Powell announced another key interest rate increase in spite of the recent pullback in inflation.

The Federal Reserve raised the benchmark rate by .25% and hinted that yet another hike may occur in 2023. The federal funds rate is now in the 5.25% to 5.5% range and is at its highest level in 22 years.

Here’s what mortgage interest rates look like today:

Multiple closely watched refinance rates trended upward today, July 26th, according to data compiled by Bankrate.

  • 30-year fixed refinance rate: 7.44%, +0.12 vs. a week ago
  • 15-year fixed refinance rate: 6.68%, +0.17 vs. a week ago
  • 10-year fixed refinance rate: 6.76%, +0.09 vs. a week ago

After hiking rates at 10 meetings in a row, the Federal Reserve finally took a break, announcing no change in rates at its June 14 meeting, before resuming hikes in July.

Housing economists are divided on whether the Fed is done raising rates for 2023, or planning to pause in August and raise rates again in September or November.

While the Fed doesn’t directly affect mortgage rates, the central bank’s policy does set the overall tone.

”Mortgage rates don’t take direct cues from the Fed and will instead respond to the outlook for the economy and inflation,” says Greg McBride, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst. “A slowing economy and an easing of inflation pressures are the prerequisites for lower mortgage rates.”

Fed Chair Jay Powell