Fed Raises Key Interest Rate, Citing Strengthening Economy
WASHINGTON — Citing the steady growth of the U.S. economy, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday that it would increase its benchmark interest rate for just the second time since the 2008 financial crisis.
The widely expected decision moves the Fed’s benchmark rate to a range between 0.5 and 0.75 percent, still a very low level by historical standards.
In announcing the decision, which followed a two-day meeting of the Fed’s policymaking committee, the central bank gave little indication that the election of Donald Trump has altered its economic outlook. The Fed said it still expected a slow economic expansion, and it still expected to continue a slow march toward higher rates. Fed officials said they expected to raise rates three times in 2017.
“My colleagues and I are recognizing the considerable progress the economy has made,” Janet L. Yellen, the Fed chairwoman, said at a news conference after the announcement. “We expect the economy will continue to perform well.”
“我和同事意识到经济已经取得相当大的进步，”美联储主席珍妮特·L·耶伦(Janet L. Yellen)在宣布调息消息之后举行的一场新闻发布会上讲。“我们预计经济会继续表现良好。”
The decision was taken by a unanimous vote of the 10 members of the Federal Open Market Committee, the first time in recent months the Fed has acted by consensus. The Fed is holding rates at low levels to support economic growth by encouraging borrowing and risk-taking. The committee’s statement said it judged that the economy still needed help.
这项决策是由联邦公开市场委员会(Federal Open Market Committee)10名成员一致投票通过的，这是最近几个月美联储首次达成一致的行动。美联储将利率维持在低水平，以便通过鼓励借贷和承担风险来支持经济增长。该委员会发声明称，据它判断，经济依然需要外力推动。
The Fed’s economic outlook was essentially unchanged from the last round of forecasts in September. Fed officials continued to predict the economy would expand at an annual rate of about 2 percent for the next few years. They expect little further decline in the unemployment rate, which stood at 4.6 percent in November. Inflation, meanwhile, is expected to reach 2 percent — the pace the Fed regards as healthy — and then stay there.
If Republicans succeed in invigorating economic growth, however, the Fed is likely to raise rates more quickly. The greater the stimulus, the faster interest rates are likely to rise.
“Your expectation should depend very little on what you think that the FOMC is thinking and very much on your view of Trump policies and their macro effects,” said Jon Faust, an economist at Johns Hopkins University and a former adviser to Yellen. “Don’t focus on the Fed. As James Carville regularly reminded the other Clinton on the campaign trail: It’s the economy, stupid.”
“你们不要把预期建立在你们觉得联邦公开市场委员会在想什么的基础上，而应该主要依据你们对特朗普的政策及其宏观效应的看法，”耶伦的前顾问、约翰-霍普金斯大学(Johns Hopkins University)经济学家乔恩·福斯特(Jon Faust)说。“不要太关注美联储。就像詹姆斯·卡维尔(James Carville)在竞选活动中经常提醒另一位克林顿的：这是经济，傻瓜。”