The U.S. Federal Reserve has moved up the benchmark interest rate by 0.25 percent to between 0.50 percent and 0.75, and signalled a faster pace of increases in 2017. It has taken Fed char Janet Yellen a year to notch up the benchmark. The increase was widely expected.
Ever since the world economic crisis eight years ago the American central bank had flatlined the base rate in order to stimulate the markets. From late 2008 to the end of 2015 the rate ceiling had stood at 0.25 percent.
This chart shows Federal Reserve benchmark interest rates 2001 to 2016 and respective Fed chairs.