Citigroup Inc. economists boosted their forecast for Federal Reserve interest-rate increases this year and now see 2.75 percentage point of hikes -- including four straight half-point moves -- amid persistent inflation.

In addition, “we expect the Fed to continue hiking into 2023” and sending the benchmark rate to a range of 3.5% to 3.75%, analysts led by Andrew Hollenhorst said in a research note Friday. That’s well beyond the 2.8% level that central bankers expect to reach, based on the median of projections released last week. “Risks to the terminal policy rate remain to the upside given the upside risk to inflation,” the economists said.

The Fed projections showed policy makers see quarter-point hikes at each of the remaining six meetings this year, following last week’s quarter-point liftoff from two years of near-zero borrowing costs. Citigroup’s forecast was previously for 2 percentage points of hikes in 2022.

While Citigroup economists now expect half-point moves at the next four meetings followed by two quarter-point hikes in October and December, those final two could potentially be half-point increases should inflation remain above 5%, according to the note.

In addition, the Fed could implement a 75 basis-point hike “if inflation unexpectedly accelerates or long-term inflation expectations rise rapidly,” such as seeing consumers anticipate price gains above 3.5% in the University of Michigan survey, the analysts said.

By comparison, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economists have said they expect the Fed to raise interest rates by a half point at the next two meetings in May and June. That would be followed by a quarter point at the four remaining meetings in 2022, with three quarterly hikes in the first nine months of 2023.

--With assistance from Rich Miller.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.