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Fed hikes rates, points to 2 more increases by end of 2018 Updated: 2018-06-14 18:03:16 KST

The U.S. Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate for the second time this year by a quarter percentage point to a range of 1.75 percent to 2 percent.
It's the seventh hike since 2015.
The Fed also dropped its pledge to keep rates low enough to stimulate the economy "for some time", reflecting a U.S. economy that's getting stronger.

"Economic growth appears to have picked up in the current quarter, largely reflecting a bounce back in household spending. Business investment continues to grow strongly and the overall outlook for growth remains favorable. Fiscal policy is boosting the economy. Ongoing job gains are raising incomes and confidence."

Quarterly economic projections released at the meeting show Fed officials expect the economy to grow two.eight percent this year, up zero.one percent from its forecast in March.
And a majority of policymakers say they now expect a total of four interest rate increases this year, after they had been split about whether to raise rates three or four times.
U.S. unemployment fell to three.eight percent in May, the lowest since 2000, signaling the Fed is at or near its maximum employment goal.
Inflation is also snapping into line, with fresh projections Wednesday indicating it would run above the Fed's two percent target, hitting two.one percent this year and remaining there through 2020.
In recent months, emerging economies have been seeing capital outflows and their currencies weaken against the stronger greenback.contributing to currency crises in countries such as Argentina, Turkey and Brazil.

(Korean ed: steve)-
"The European Central Bank is set to meet Thursday to discuss when to end its bond-purchasing program. All this global monetary tightening is increasing volatility in some emerging markets. As for now, South Korea has strong fundamentals like ample foreign reserves to stave off a rapid capital outflow, but with the U.S. set for two more rate hikes, whether that continues remains to be seen."

"The U.S.-Korea rate gap has now widened from zero.two five percent in March to zero.five percent, and that's putting more pressure on the Bank of Korea to raise interest rates later this year.
Kim Hyesung, Arirang News.
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