WASHINGTON (AP) The Federal Reserve signaled its confidence Wednesday in the U.S. economy by raising a key interest rate for a third time this year, forecasting another rate hike before years end and predicting that it will continue to tighten credit into 2020 to manage growth and inflation.
The Fed lifted its short-term rate a benchmark for many consumer and business loans by a modest quarter-point to a range of 2 percent to 2.25 percent. It was its eighth hike since late 2015. The central bank also stuck with a previous forecast for three more rate hikes in 2019.
In a statement after its latest policy meeting, the Fed dropped phrasing it had long used that characterized its policy as accommodative that is, favoring low rates. The Fed had used variations of that pledge in the seven years that it kept its key rate at a record low near zero and over the past nearly three years in which its gradually tightened credit.
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