The U.S. Federal Reserve boosted its key short-term interest rate on Wednesday, the third hike in six months by the central bank.
The Fed’s move to boost the target range for the overnight federal funds rate by one quarter point to between one per cent and 1.25 per cent had been widely expected by the market.
During a press conference, Fed chair Janet Yellen said that following a first-quarter slowdown, economic activity in the U.S. appears to have rebounded, adding that the central bank has seen improved household spending and business investment.
“Overall, we continue to expect that the economy will continue to expand at a moderate pace over the next few years,” Yellen said.
The Fed also indicated that it will boost rates one more time this year, but gave no indication of when that will happen.
The central bank’s Open Market Committee, which sets monetary policy, voted 8-1 in favour of Wednesday’s decision.
The central bank also said it plans to begin trimming its holdings of bonds later this year, “provided that the economy evolves broadly as anticipated.”
The Fed has a portfolio of about $4.5 trillion US in Treasury and mortgage bonds, which it started buying during the financial crisis to bolster economic growth.
Asked by a journalist if she has talked with the White House about staying on for a second term of Fed chair, Yellen reiterated her previous comment that she plans to serve our her current term, which ends in early February.
Yellen said she hasn’t had any conversations with President Donald Trump about staying for a second term.