URGENT: U.S. Fed indicates 3 rate hikes next year, to quicken tapering

© Kyodo News

The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday hinted at three interest rate hikes next year while deciding to accelerate the tapering of its massive bond-buying program amid growing concerns over rising inflation.

After a two-day meeting of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee, the bank said it will begin reducing its monthly purchases in Treasuries and mortgage securities by $30 billion, up from the $15 billion announced in November.

Its latest summary of economic projections showed 17 of the 18 Fed policymakers are now anticipating rate hikes in 2022 from the current near-zero rate, compared with nine in September.