The Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday, as expected, and forecast three more years of economic growth as the U.S. central bank left its policy for steady rate rises in place, Reuters reports.
In a statement that marked the end of the era of “accommodative” monetary policy, Fed policymakers lifted the benchmark overnight lending rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a range of 2.00 percent to 2.25 percent.
The Fed still foresees another rate hike in December, three more next year, and one increase in 2020.
That would put the benchmark overnight lending rate at 3.4 percent, roughly half a percentage point above the Fed’s estimated “neutral” rate of interest, at which rates neither stimulate nor restrict the economy.
“The thing that folks were watching for, which they went ahead and did, was remove the word ‘accommodative’ in regard to their monetary policy,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors.
“It does seem to potentially indicate they believe monetary policy is becoming less accommodative and getting more toward that neutral rate.”