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You are here News Economy Fed Raises Interest Rates for Sixth Time Since Financial Crisis

Fed Raises Interest Rates for Sixth Time Since Financial Crisis

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Jerome H. Powell

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday by a quarter of a percentage point and signaled that the central bank is on track to raise rates twice more in 2018.

■ The Fed said it would raise its benchmark interest rate to a range of 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent, marking the sixth time since the financial crisis that it has raised rates.

■ The Fed said at the conclusion of a two-day policy meeting that the economy continues to strengthen and that it expects to increase rates another two times this year as it pursues a return to more normal interest rate levels. Officials also increased their expectations for economic growth this year in the United States, declaring that “the economic outlook has strengthened in recent months.” They said they expect to raise interest rates three times next year, an increase from the two increases in 2019 that they forecast in December.

■ Jerome H. Powell, the new Fed chairman, expressed optimism about the current economic picture and said officials were trying to strike a balance between raising rates too slowly or too quickly. “We’re trying to take that middle ground,” he said in a news conference following his first policy meeting as head of the central bank. Mr. Powell, a former Fed governor, succeeded Janet L. Yellen last month.

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