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WASHINGTON-The Federal Reserve said it will raise short-term interest rates by another quarter-percentage point, and officials signaled they want to continue lifting them through the next year to keep a strong economy on an even keel.

The central bank hiked its benchmark federal funds rate to a range of 2 percent to 2.25 percent, marking the third rate hike of 2018 and the eighth since 2015.

In addition to its formal statement, the Fed released the economic projections of the members of its Federal Open Markets Committee.

"We're doing great as a country".

That would put the benchmark overnight lending rate at 3.4 percent, roughly half a percentage point above the Fed's estimated "neutral" rate of interest, at which rates neither stimulate nor restrict the economy. Last month, Trump expressed his displeasure about rising rates and said the Fed should do more to boost the economy. "So I'm anxious about the fact that they seem to like raising interest rates".

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Powell said that the U.S. economy is in a "particularly bright moment", which would point to continued increases in rates.

"The people that did it right...got hurt the most, so in one sense I like it", Trump added, "but basically I'm a low-interest-rate person".

The move was widely expected, as investors who bet on foreign exchange rates were forecasting a 100 per cent chance of a hike in recent days and weeks.

The Fed's statement describes US economic conditions as "strong" a number of times.


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