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Members of the Federal Open Market Committee this afternoon voted unanimously to boost the target for the federal funds rate to a range of 0.50 percent to 0.75 percent effective immediately, "in view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation."

The previous rate range of 0.25 percent to 0.50 percent had been adopted by the FOMC on Dec. 16, 2015. Today’s action was the second upward move in short-term interest rates since the FOMC set the federal funds rate at 5.25 percent in June 2006.

The Fed issued this statement regarding future increases: "The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run. However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data."

The target federal funds rate had bottomed out at an all-time low range of zero to 0.25 percent in December 2008.

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