Fed approves rate hike

National News

December 20, 2018 - 9:55 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate Wednesday for the fourth time this year to reflect the U.S. economy’s continued strength but signaled that it expects to slow its rate hikes next year.

Despite the forecast for fewer hikes, investors sent stocks plunging once Chairman Jerome Powell began a news conference, apparently disappointed that Powell didn’t go further to signal a slowdown in rate increases.

Wednesday’s quarter-point increase, to a range of 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent, lifted the Fed’s benchmark rate to its highest point since 2008. It will mean higher borrowing costs for many consumers and businesses.

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