The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates from record lows set at the depths of the 2008 financial crisis, a shift that heralds modestly higher rates on some loans.
The Fed coupled its first rate hike in nine years with a signal that further increases will likely be made slowly as the economy strengthens further and inflation rises from undesirably low levels.
The central bank said in a statement after its latest meeting that it was lifting its key rate by a quarter-point to a range of 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent. Its move ends an extraordinary seven-year period of near-zero borrowing rates. But the Fed’s statement suggested that rates would remain historically low well into the future, saying it expects “only gradual increases.”