The U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter point on Wednesday and signaled a faster pace of increases in 2017 as the Trump administration takes over with promises to boost growth through tax cuts, spending and deregulation, APA reports .
The rate increase, regarded as a virtual certainty by financial markets in the wake of a string of generally strong economic reports, raised the target federal funds rate 25 basis points to between 0.50 percent and 0.75 percent.
The Fed's median outlook for rates rose to three quarter-point increases in 2017 from two as of September. That would be followed by another three increases in both 2018 and 2019 before the rate levels off at a long-run "normal" 3.0 percent.
That normal level is slightly higher from three months ago, a sign that the Fed feels the economy is still gaining traction.
The Fed continued to describe that pace as "gradual," keeping policy still slightly loose and supporting some further improvement in the job market. It sees unemployment falling to 4.5 percent next year and remaining at that level, which is considered to be close to full employment.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. ET (1930 GMT) to elaborate on the decision.
U.S. bond yields had already begun moving higher following the election and as expectations of the Fed rate increase solidified. By the start of this week, trading in fed funds futures assigned a greater than 95 percent likelihood to a rate hike, according to data compiled by the CME Group.
The rate increase was the first since last December and only the second since the 2007-2009 financial crisis, when the Fed cut rates to near zero and deployed other tools such as massive bond purchases to stabilize the economy.