For the first time in 22 years, the central bank raised interest rates so sharply. The decision was unanimous, with all 12 members of the Federal Open Market Committee's policy-making body agreeing.

In March, the Fed raised lending rates by a quarter of a percentage point for the first time since late 2018. In a press conference following Wednesday's meeting

 Fed Chair Jerome Powell said a further half a percent rate hike would be discussed for the next few meetings. But banks don't want to get bigger:

"A 75 basis point increase was not actively considered by the commission," Powell told reporters. "If inflation goes down we will not stop, we will only go down to a

Inflation is more persistent than expected For much of the past year, the central bank blamed inflation for temporary supply chain problems linked to the pandemic

which are expected to subside on their own. But shortages of new cars and other products persist, and rising prices have spread to more parts of the economy

Russia's invasion of Ukraine this spring triggered additional increases in oil and food prices. And China's ongoing COVID lockdowns "are likely to exacerbate supply chain disruptions