US: Federal Reserve raises interest rates

Federal Reserve increases target range to 2.25 to 2.50 percent, for fourth time in 2018

US: Federal Reserve raises interest rates

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates Wednesday for the fourth time in 2018.

With all 10 members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voting in favor of the decision, the central bank increased the target range for federal fund rates to 2.25 to 2.50 percent, citing inflation and labor market conditions.

This increase puts the rate at the highest level since 2008, months before the U.S. stock market crash which led to a global financial crisis.

In a statement, the Federal Reserve noted that the economy has continued to grow in 2018, with steady job growth and low unemployment.

"Household spending has continued to grow strongly, while growth of business fixed investment has moderated from its rapid pace earlier in the year," it said.

The move comes despite repeated criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump's about increasing interest rates.

With the move, the central bank lowered its 2019 forecast to two interest rate increases.

"The Committee judges that risks to the economic outlook are roughly balanced, but will continue to monitor global economic and financial developments and assess their implications for the economic outlook," the Fed said. 

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