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Interest rates rise ahead of new year

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The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter of a percent Wednesday.

The decision aligns with the Feds 2018 outlook for interest rates, according to the New York Times. Officials plan to increase federal interest rates three times in 2018, similar to 2017.

The interest rate hike comes amid strong economic growth. The Fed expects gross domestic product to reach 2.5 percent in 2018. The December expectation rises .4 percent from the September forecast. Looking ahead, growth is expected to achieve 2.1 percent in 2019, which is slighter higher than the previous forecast of 2.0 percent.

Reacting to strong economic growth, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW) ended the day up 80 points, or .33 percent, at 24,585.43.