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  • We start with the news that the U.S. Federal Reserve has increased the key interest rate

  • for the first time since 2006. It's a momentus decision as the rate has been

  • at unprecedented low levels since the global financial crisis.

  • For more,... let's connect to our Shin Se-min who is standing by at our new center.

  • Se-min.

  • Good morning, Mark. After seven years of rock-bottom rates,…

  • at last there is liftoff. It was widely expected,... but the Fed announced

  • within the last two hours or so that it will increase its benchmark rate by one-quarter

  • of a percentage point. Shortly after the announcement,... Fed chair

  • Janet Yellen gave a press conference,... laying out the reasons behind the decision.

  • "The committee judged that a modest increase in the fed funds rate target is now appropriate,…

  • recognizing that even after this increase, monetary policy remains accommodative.

  • And it reflects committee's confidence that the economy will continue to strengthen."

  • The Federal Open Market Committee judged that the U.S. economy and the labor market is healthy

  • enough to begin the process of normalizing rates,… recovering from the worst financial

  • crisis since the Great Depression. The U.S. central bank has kept its benchmark

  • rate near zero since December 2008,… as a show of effort to stimulate the economy

  • and restore confidence in the financial markets. The U.S. labor market recently added 211-thousand

  • jobs in November and there's confidence inflation is starting to climb to the Fed's target rate

  • of two-percent.

  • And how is Wall Street reacting to the news?

  • Well,... minutes after the announcement, U.S. stocks have jumped with the Dow Jones industrial

  • average going up some 60-points, or point-three percent and the S&P 500 index going up half-a-percent

  • higher. As of a few minutes ago,... the Dow was up

  • 255 points or one-point-two percent and the S&P was up one-point-four percent.

  • In the coming few hours we will see how Korea's stock market and other Asian markets will

  • react...

  • This is going to be a "gradual" increase. How are analysts expecting this to unfold

  • over the coming months and years?

  • The Fed's policy makers say they expect the short-term rate to stand at around one-point-five

  • percent by the end of 2016. They forecast that number to increase to two-point-five

  • percent by the end of 2017,… and will not get close to normal levels of around 3.5%

  • until 2018 Now that comes on the back of expectations

  • that the economy will improve,… growing two-point-four percent next year, with the

  • unemployment rate falling to the four percent range.

We start with the news that the U.S. Federal Reserve has increased the key interest rate

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