Stock photo: Jerome Powell

The Federal Reserve delivered the biggest interest-rate increase since 2000 and signaled it will keep hiking at that pace over the next couple of meetings, unleashing the most aggressive policy action in decades to combat soaring inflation.

The U.S. central bank's policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on Wednesday voted unanimously to increase the benchmark rate by a half percentage point. It will also begin allowing its holdings of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities to decline in June at an initial combined monthly pace of $47.5 billion, stepping up over three months to $95 billion.

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