Fed raises interest rates and signals faster hikes on the way

Interest rates are going up again.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday lifted its benchmark rate by a quarter of a percentage point, the second hike this year.

And a majority of policy makers now expect a total of four interest rate increases this year. Fed officials had been split about whether to raise rates three times this year or four.

Investors were expecting Wednesday’s quarter-point increase. The Fed is raising rates gradually to keep the economy in check as inflation creeps higher and the job market grows even tighter.

The federal funds rate, which helps determine rates for mortgages, credit cards and other borrowing, now stands at a range of 1.75 percent to 2 percent.