Speed Reads


Federal Reserve raises interest rates by one quarter-point

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the second time in three months Wednesday, bumping the benchmark rate by one quarter-point. The Fed additionally signaled that it would raise rates one more time in 2017 and three times in 2018, each time likely by a quarter-point.

Wednesday's rate hike shows Fed officials "forged ahead with an interest-rate increase and additional plans to tighten monetary policy despite growing concerns over weak inflation," Bloomberg noted. The Fed's inflation target is 2 percent; the core consumer price inflation mark as of Wednesday was 1.7 percent.

In its statement Wednesday, the U.S. central bank took an optimistic stance on the American economy, saying the job market has "continued to strengthen" and general economic activity has "been rising moderately so far this year," The Wall Street Journal observed. The Fed also revised its projection of GDP growth in 2017 up to 2.2 percent from 2.1 percent in March.