WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve is expected to announce the results of the two-day meeting of its policy-making committee at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
• The Federal Reserve is expected to raise its benchmark rate to a range between 1 percent and 1.25 percent. It would be the Fed’s third consecutive quarterly increase, reflecting its confidence in the stability of the economic expansion. Low rates support growth by encouraging borrowing; as the Fed raises rates, it is reducing that support.
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• The Fed may also provide more information about its plans to gradually reduce its $4.5 trillion portfolio of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, the final step in ending its economic stimulus campaign. Janet L. Yellen, the Fed’s chairwoman, is likely to face questions about those plans at a news conference scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
• The big question is whether the Fed is still on course to raise its benchmark rate at least one more time this year. Fed officials predicted three increases at the beginning of the year, but inflation has weakened in recent months. Investors will be looking for signs that the Fed is no longer quite so confident that the economy is ready for higher rates.