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US Federal Reserve to raise key interest rate

The US Federal Reserve has said it would raise its key interest rate by 0.25 per cent, the second rise this year. 
     
The central bank voted to raise its key rate target to a range of one per cent to 1.25 per cent. 
     
That is the highest level since 2008, when policymakers cut rates to encourage borrowing and spending after the financial crisis. 
     
The bank also said it would begin cutting its bond holdings and other securities this year.
     
It cited continued US economic growth and job market strength as reasons for raising rates.
 
Retail sales decline
                                                       
Meanwhile, US retail sales declined by 0.3 pert cent in May compared with the previous month, amid falling petrol prices and lower demand for other goods.
     
The report showed the steepest monthly fall in retail spending since January 2016.
     
Online sales again surfaced as the strongest category, up 0.8 per cent on the month and 10.2 per cent compared with May 2016.


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