The Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised interest rates .25 points, the central bank’s first hike since December 2016.
Onlookers widely expected the central bank to raise rates Wednesday. Senior Fed officials, including Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen, had hinted toward the rate hike throughout March.
“At our meeting later this month, the committee will evaluate whether employment and inflation are continuing to evolve in line with our expectations, in which case a further adjustment of the federal funds rate would likely be appropriate,” Yellen said last week during a speech in Chicago.
Bank officials said the time was right to raise rates with inflation and unemployment close to Fed’s targets of 2 percent and roughly 4.5 percent, respectively.