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Crossover: US monetary authority hikes benchmark rate


12-15-2016 10:43 BJT

The US Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points, the first and only rate hike in 2016. The Fed made the announcement after its two-day policy meeting. For more, we're joined by CCTV correspondent Daniel Ryntjes in Washington.

Q1. Hi, Daniel. Could you tell us more about the announcement?

Q2. What kind of signal does this send?

In deciding to increase interest rates by a quarter percent, Fed Chair Janet Yellen cited strong evidence of a sustained improvement in the performance of the U.S. economy.

"Our decision to raise rates should certainly be understood as a reflection of the confidence we have in the progress the economy has made and our judgement that progress will continue," said Yellen.

"And the economy has proven to be remarkably resilient. So, it is a vote of confidence in the economy."

Fed officials indicated they now think there are likely to be three such rate hikes next year instead of two.

One factor they're considering: the inflationary impact of additional fiscal stimulus, a reference to Donald Trump's plans to increase infrastructure spending combined with reduced corporate taxes.

The President-elect has been meeting with an array of Silicon Valley's top executives, including Google's Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, Apple's Tim Cook, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and Tesla's Elon Musk.

"We're going to be there for you when you'll call my people, you'll call me, it doesn't make any difference. We have no formal chain of command around here," said Trump.

He's been offering reassurance that he will support what he calls their "incredible innovation." 

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