U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said he will press on with the steepest tightening in a generation to curb inflation while giving officials more flexibility on coming moves amid signs of a broadening economic slowdown.

Policymakers raised the benchmark lending rate 75 basis points on Wednesday to a range of 2.25% to 2.5% and said they anticipate "ongoing increases” will be appropriate. Just how much depends on the data, the central bank chief said, stepping away from the specific guidance he gave at the June meeting, though he didn’t take another similar-sized move off the table.

"While another unusually large increase could be appropriate at our next meeting, that is a decision that will depend on the data,” Powell said. "The labor market is extremely tight, and inflation is much too high.”