Federal Reserve Raises Key Interest Rate a Quarter Point

The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday raised a key interest rate by 0.25 percent, the first increase in almost a decade, NBC News reported.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank's hike in its federal funds rate — the percentage that banks charge one another for short-term loans — will be followed only by "gradual adjustments" that can be slowed if economic activity doesn't continue to "expand at a moderate pace."

The rate hike will affect consumers on numerous fronts, ranging from interest rates on credit cards and mortgages to the returns on investments and savings accounts, but experts say the impacts will be modest to begin with. The fed has not raised rates since June 29, 2006.

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