Fed lifts rates for fourth time, but sees fewer hikes

The Standard Journal - - POLICE & FIRE - By Martin Crutsinger AP Eco­nom­ics Writer

WASH­ING­TON — The Fed­eral Re­serve raised its key in­ter­est rate as the hol­i­day break ap­proached 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.

Last Wednes­day’s quar­ter­point 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.

The Fed’s move came de­spite Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s at­tacks in re­cent weeks on its rate hikes and on Pow­ell per­son­ally. The pres­i­dent has com­plained that the moves are threat­en­ing the econ­omy.

/ AP-Su­san Walsh

The Fed­eral Re­serve is rais­ing its key in­ter­est rate for the fourth time this year to re­flect the U.S. econ­omy’s con­tin­ued strength but sig­nal­ing that it ex­pects to slow hikes next year.

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