Federal Reserve Increases Rates by 0.25%
The Federal Reserve has increased US interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade, marking a milestone in the recovery of the world’s biggest economy.
In Ameraica, Interest rates have not increased since June 2006 and have stayed between zero and 0.25% since December 2008. However, this evening, the Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate by 0.25%, ending seven years of near-zero rates.
In the UK, this immediately led to calls for the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee to follow suit.
The decision by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is a sign that the US economy is back on track after the financial crisis and ready to wean itself off the financial life support of record low rates. There have been encouraging signs for the US economy in recent months, with unemployment falling to 5% from a peak of 10% in 2009 and inflation beginning to creep up, with figures showing a bigger-than-expected rise in prices of 0.5% in the year to November. Stock markets have surged in the past two days ahead of the decision, which will end many months of uncertainty over US monetary policy. Equities fell sharply in September after the Fed made the surprise decision to keep rates on hold, causing negative reactions from the market, which had been expecting a rise.
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See the full text of the Federal Reserve Press Release Here.
You can also see the BBC reporting on this rate rise Here.
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Mick (16th December 2015)