Top officials of the U.S. central bank raised the key interest rate slightly Wednesday, amid strong job gains and moderate economic growth.
The rate is one-quarter of a percentage point higher, putting it in a range between 1.5 and 1.75 percent.
Federal Reserve officials said that is still “accommodative,” meaning it is still fairly low, compared to the average rate during the past few decades. Fed officials said they will probably raise interest rates a few more times this year if the economy continues along its current path.
The Federal Reserve tries to manage the economy to maximize employment and keep prices stable.
The bank slashed interest rates nearly to zero during the financial crisis in 2008 to stimulate economic growth. However, economists say keeping rates too low for too long could push inflation up fast enough to damage the economy.
While inflation is below the 2 percent rate the Fed thinks is best for the economy, the bank said inflation seems likely to rise a bit.