WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates from record lows set at the depths of the 2008 financial crisis, a shift that heralds modestly higher rates on some loans.
The Fed coupled its first rate hike in nine years with a signal that further increases will likely be made slowly as the economy strengthens further and inflation rises from undesirably low levels.
Wednesday’s action signaled the central bank’s belief that the economy has finally regained enough strength 6½ years after the Great Recession ended to withstand modestly higher borrowing rates.
“The Fed’s decision today reflects our confidence in the U.S. economy,” Chair Janet Yellen said at a news conference.
The Fed said in a statement after its latest meeting that it was lifting its key rate by a quarter-point to a range of 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent. Its move ends an extraordinary seven-year period of near-zero borrowing rates. But the Fed’s statement suggested that rates would remain historically low well into the future, saying it expects “only gradual increases.”… read more —> Fed Raises Key Interest Rate