US Federal Reserve

FILE - Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference at the Federal Reserve, Wednesday, May 4, 2022 in Washington. The Federal Reserve is expected to announce its largest interest rate hike since 1994 — a bigger increase than it had previously signaled and a sign that the central bank is struggling to restrain stubbornly high inflation. 

WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell bluntly warned in a speech last month that the Fed's drive to curb inflation by aggressively raising interest rates would "bring some pain." On Wednesday, Americans may get a better sense of how much pain could be in store.

The Fed is expected at its latest meeting to raise its key short-term rate by a substantial three-quarters of a point for the third consecutive time. Another hike that large would lift its benchmark rate — which affects many consumer and business loans — to a range of 3% to 3.25%, the highest level in 14 years.

In a further sign of the Fed's deepening concern about inflation, it will also likely signal that it plans to raise rates much higher by year's end than it had forecast three months ago — and to keep them higher for a longer period.

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