5 things to know Wednesday

Fed walks economic tightrope as it weighs raising interest rates

Amid a surge inflation that threatens to damage the economy, the Federal Reserve is expected to signal Wednesday that it is ready to raise interest rates as soon as March. The Fed’s short-term rate has been locked near zero since the pandemic began in 2020, which has fueled borrowing and spending by consumers and businesses – but also inflation, now rising at the fastest pace in nearly four decades. In the hope of curbing inflation, the Fed last month signaled a turnabout on rates, forecasting three increases for 2022. The Fed now faces a delicate balancing act as it aims to curtail inflation without stalling the recovery.

Rescuers search for 39 missing after boat capsizes off Florida coast

Rescue crews are continuing to search Wednesday for 39 people missing for several days after the boat they were in capsized off the Florida coast. The Coast Guard got a call from a “good Samaritan” early Tuesday who rescued a man clinging to the capsized vessel about 45 miles east of Fort Pierce, the agency tweeted. The survivor said he left Bimini, Bahamas with 39 other people Saturday night. The survivor said the group ran into severe weather, causing the boat to capsize, according to a Coast Guard statement. The survivor also said no one aboard was wearing life jackets. A cold front late Saturday brought rough weather to the Bimini area. The Coast Guard is calling it a suspected human smuggling case. Officials said on Twitter that they are searching by both air and sea over a roughly 135-mile area extending from Bimini to the Fort Pierce Inlet. 

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