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Federal Reserve Poised to Mark the End of an Era

Wall Street Journal (12/15/15) Jon Hilsenrath

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s likely decision today to raise short-term borrowing costs will mark the end of an era of zero interest rates. Low rates, by encouraging investment and spending, helped spark an economic expansion now 78 months old, longer than all but four expansions ever recorded. The jobless rate, at 5%, is half its recession peak and half where the rate in Europe remains. Output and income growth have been disappointing, however, and after-tax incomes adjusted for inflation have expanded at a 1.8% annual rate in this expansion, slower than the average rate of 3.3% during the previous three.