Fed forecasts a slightly faster increase in rates

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve policymakers are contemplating a slightly faster increase in the Fed's benchmark interest rate in 2015 than they did three months ago.

The Fed has kept its benchmark rate at a record-low level near zero since 2008 to try to boost economic growth. Most economists expect the first rate increase to happen by the middle of next year. A Fed statement indicated little change in the timing of that first increase.

The median short-term interest rate supported by Fed policymakers at the end of 2015 is now 1.38 percent, up from 1.13 percent at its June meeting.

The Fed also now expects the economy to grow 2.6 percent to 3 percent in 2015, down from an earlier forecast of 3 percent to 3.2 percent.