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Fed indicates interest rate hike a possibility

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Posted at 2:15 PM, Mar 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-18 14:35:41-04

After two days of meetings, the Federal Reserve has indicated an increase in short-term interest rates may be on the way.

In a statement, the U.S. central bank said "The committee anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when it has seen further improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its 2 percent objective over the medium-term."

The Fed ended its pledge to be "patient" in normalizing monetary policy, a sign that they are cautiously optimistic about the nation's economic recovery. There hasn't been a rate hike since 2006, before the Great Recession.

The policy committee indicated that a decision or hike during the April meeting is also unlikely. 

Economists variously expect a hike in either June or September. A recent Reuters poll of 70 economists indicated an even split between June and later in the year.

Higher rates have wide ramifications for global markets and for consumers, who could see higher costs associated with taking out mortgages and car loans, according to the Washington Post.