The Federal Reserve is trying to slam the breaks on the U.S. economy as it plays catch-up in its belated fight against spiking inflation. Yesterday’s 0.75 percentage point rate interest rate hike – the biggest since 1994 – is just the start, with an equally supersized increase possible in July. By the end of the year, the Fed now expects its target short-term interest rate, which benchmarks the borrowing costs on pretty much everything, to reach 3.4% – double what it is now.

Could that cause the U.S. economy to fall into recession? The odds of one next year are “close to a coin flip,” writes Brian Blank, who studies how businesses adapt and handle economic downturns. The Mississippi State University finance scholar explains how the Fed is trying to nail a “soft landing” for the economy, the stakes if it gets it wrong and what it all means for consumers.

Also today:

Bryan Keogh

Senior Editor, Economy + Business

Wall Street is following Fed rate hike news with rapt attention. AP Photo/Seth Wenig

5 things to know about the Fed’s biggest interest rate increase since 1994 and how it will affect you

D. Brian Blank, Mississippi State University

The Fed raised interest rates the most in nearly three decades to fight stubborn inflation. A finance expert explains what’s happening, the risks and what it means for consumers.

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