Fed raises benchmark interest rate for the second time since the 2008 financial crisis

Citing the steady growth of the American economy, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday that it would increase its benchmark interest rate for just the second time since the 2008 financial crisis.

The widely expected decision moves the Fed’s benchmark rate to a range between 0.5 percent and 0.75 percent, still a very low level by historical standards.

In announcing the decision, which followed a two-day meeting of the Fed’s policy-making committee, the central bank gave little indication that the election of Donald J. Trump has altered its economic outlook. The Fed said it still expected a slow economic expansion, and it still expected to continue a slow march toward higher rates. Fed officials said they expected to raise rates three times in 2017.

The Fed’s statement Wednesday said “that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been expanding at a moderate pace since midyear.”