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Following up on my previous question I am trying to find the proper parts of speech (POS) Tag for "Hiking interest rates" and "Cutting interest rates" in the context of the following sentence, part of this article:

Hiking interest rates to get inflation under control when unemployment is rising could push unemployment even higher. Cutting interest rates to stimulate the economy could produce more inflation.

From what I have read, the -ing can be tagged into Verb, Adjectives or Nouns, depending on the use. I have followed the advice given in my previous question and as per the website IELTS Online Tests:

Definition: A gerund subject is a verb form that functions as a noun and acts as the subject of a sentence.

However, it also confuses me that it could work as an adjective modifying the noun "interest rates" because they are increasing/dropping (as per the British Council website):

Adjectives that end in -ing generally describe the thing that causes the emotion

Therefore, in the context of POS what would be the correct classification for "Hiking interest rates" and "Cutting interest rates"?

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  • "Hiking interest rates" and "Cutting interest rates" are both gerund-participial clauses, (i.e. non-finite clauses) each consisting of a gerund participle verb + a noun phrase direct object. They are part of the subjects "Hiking interest rates to get inflation under control when unemployment is rising" and "Cutting interest rates to stimulate the economy".
    – BillJ
    Commented Dec 9, 2023 at 17:51
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    Note: I would strongly advise you not to call such clauses nouns, or noun phrases; they are not. The classification of non-finite subordinate clauses is based on the classification of their head verb (gerund participle / past participle etc.) rather than spurious analogies with the parts of speech.
    – BillJ
    Commented Dec 9, 2023 at 17:52
  • Note also that in each of the subjects, the infinitival clause is functioning as a purpose adjunct, leaving "hiking interest rates" and "cutting interest rates" as the core parts of the subjects.
    – BillJ
    Commented Dec 9, 2023 at 18:02
  • Well, I don't think they are clauses.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 9, 2023 at 18:51
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    "Functions as a noun" confuses grammatical functions with parts of speech. Syntactic constituents get syntactic roles — that is, they get grammatical functions — not parts of speech like individual words do. So no phrase can "function" as a "noun", because "noun" is ɴᴏᴛ a function; rather, it's a part of speech, which is different from a function. Phrases, including clauses, can only function as subject, objects, complements, modifiers, etc.
    – tchrist
    Commented Dec 9, 2023 at 23:54

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