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The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate on Wednesday for the first time in a year and signaled that rates could continue to rise next year more quickly than officials had expected.

The increase was unanimous and modest, raising the Fed’s key interest rate by a quarter point, from a range of 0.25 to 0.5 percent to a range of 0.5 to 0.75 percent. It reflects Fed officials' confidence in the strengthening of the U.S. economy and what officials see as budding signs of higher inflation.

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