The Fed has officially been raising rates for a year now, this time with a .25% increase as of yesterday, bringing the federal funds rate to 5.0-5.25%
Why this time is different: For the first time in a year the Fed sent the clearest indication yet that they may halt rate hikes.
Meanwhile, the financial system is collapsing in real time. So, yeah you'd hope so.
The consensus of the next move from the Fed is taken from the Chairmen's speech after the meeting. Yesterday he said that they would monitor economic data to determine "the extent to which additional policy firming may be appropriate." Vague as hell, but US markets are taking it to mean this could be the last of the hikes for a while.
Simply put: If inflation grows or the economy gains traction before the next meeting in June, then yes there could be another rate hike. However, if all goes as planned policymakers will most likely decide to stop the cycle of rate increases.
However, Fed Chair Jerome Powell did restate the focus of the central bank on getting inflation back to its 2%.
The Bottomline: The Fed gave some hope today for a pause. Mainly due to the fact that there were three significant bank failures since the last meeting force their hand—Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and First Republic.