Fed's Powell: Rate pause was considered due to bank issues

Fed Chair Powell holds news conference after the release of U.S. Fed interest rate policy decision in Washington
U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell arrives for a news conference after the Fed raised interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point following a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on interest rate policy in Washington, U.S., March 22, 2023. REUTERS/Leah Millis

NEW YORK, March 22 (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Wednesday that officials considered not raising interest rates at its meeting due to banking system stress following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

Asked at the news conference following the Fed's policy decision if officials had considered a pause rather than the quarter-point rate hike they opted for, Powell said, "We did consider that."

Reporting by Michael S. Derby; Editing by Leslie Adler

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