Watch the Federal Reserve announcement on the first rate hike in nearly 10 years

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised its benchmark short-term interest rate for the first time in 9 ½ years, providing a long-awaited vote of confidence for the recovery from the Great Recession by beginning to remove the last of the central bank’s extraordinary steps to boost economic growth.

Note: Mobile readers can scroll down for video statement plus analysis and commentary from The Times.

Seven years to the day after lowering the rate to near zero, members of the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee edged it up 0.25 percentage point.

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen explained the decision in a news conference earlier today. Watch her full remarks below.

Jim Puzzanghera

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Janet Yellen says rate hike reflects the Fed's confidence in the U.S. economy >>

Stock indexes rise after Fed raises interest rates >>


Has the Fed waited too long to raise interest rates?

Almost everyone agrees that the Federal Reserve's extraordinary action to cut interest rates to near zero in the depths of the Great Recession helped save the country from a deeper downturn — or even another depression.

For consumers, Fed's expected rate hike is unlikely to cause shock and awe

Federal Reserve policymakers are expected to end months of speculation Wednesday and raise a key interest rate for the first time in nearly a decade.

Five things to watch for as the Federal Reserve readies for a key interest rate increase

All systems appear to be go for the long-awaited liftoff of the Federal Reserve's benchmark short-term interest rate on Wednesday. Now the question is: How fast and far will the rate-hike rocket travel?