加息决定获得了联邦公开市场委员会(Federal Open Market Committee)中10个拥有投票权的成员的一致支持。虽然其中三名成员在近几个月里表示了担忧，认为美国经济可能还没有为更高的利率做好准备，他们仍然赞成了此次加息举动。一些外部经济学家同意这种担忧，一些民主党人也认为美联储此举将过早地削弱就业和工资增长。
WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that it would raise short-term interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis struck, a vote of confidence in the strength of the American economy at a time when much of the rest of the global economy is struggling.
The widely anticipated decision, a milestone in the Fed’s postcrisis stimulus campaign, ends a seven-year period in which the Fed held short-term rates near zero. Even as it raises its benchmark interest rate by 0.25 percentage points, to a range of 0.25 to 0.5 percent, however, the Fed emphasized subsequent increases would come slowly.
The decision to raise rates “recognizes the considerable progress that has been made toward restoring jobs, raising incomes and easing the economic hardships that have been endured by millions of ordinary Americans,” the Fed’s chairwoman, Janet L. Yellen, said at a news conference after the decision was announced.
Interest rates on mortgages and other kinds of loans, and on savings accounts and other kinds of investments, are likely to remain low by historical standards for years to come.
Moving to raise rates is the most important and riskiest decision the Fed has made under the leadership of Ms. Yellen, the Fed’s chairwoman since early 2014.
Every other developed nation that has raised rates since the end of the financial crisis has been forced to backtrack as economic conditions proved unable to handle higher rates. There are also signs of strain in some financial markets as investors dump high-yield junk bonds and pull money from developing markets.
The decision to raise rates was supported by all 10 voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee. They agreed on the move despite concern expressed in recent months by three of those officials that the economy might not be ready for higher rates, a view shared by some outside economists and by Democrats who argue the Fed is prematurely curtailing job and wage growth.
The Fed’s announcement cited the strength of job growth, and the broader backdrop of a moderate-but-steady economic expansion, as evidence that the economy no longer needed quite as much help from ultralow borrowing costs.
Fed officials predicted in a set of forecasts also published Wednesday that they would raise interest rates by about one percentage point a year over the next three years, reaching 3.3 percent by 2019.