The Federal Reserve voted to raise its benchmark interest rate at its monthly meeting concluded Wednesday. CNBC reports:
Interest rates are going up again, thanks to a well-telegraphed Federal Reserve move Wednesday.
Central bankers, led by Jerome Powell in his first meeting as chairman, approved the widely expected quarter-point hike that puts the new benchmark funds rate at a target of 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent. It was the sixth rate hike since the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee began raising rates off near-zero in December 2015.
The funds rate is closely tied to consumer interest rates, which generally rise as soon as the Fed moves.
Along with the increase came another upgrade in the Fed's economic forecast, and a hint that the path of rate hikes could be more aggressive. The market currently expects three hikes for 2018, and that remained the baseline forecast, but at least one more increase was added in the following two years.
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Assocation of Realtors, expected the rise. "We are in the middle innings of monetary policy normalization. Interest rates that the Fed directly controls – the federal funds rate - were raised three times in 2017. Today’s action is the first of three rate hikes in 2018. Another three hikes are likely on deck in 2019. Mortgage rates do not move one-to-one with the Fed tightening, but clearly consumers should anticipate higher mortgage rates as time proceeds."Read More