Updated March 21, 2018 2:06 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON—The Federal Reserve said it would raise short-term interest rates a quarter-percentage point and signaled it could lift them at a slightly more aggressive pace in coming years to keep the strengthening economy on an even keel.
Fed officials said they would increase their benchmark federal-funds rate to a range between 1.5% and 1.75% and penciled in a total of three rate increases for this year.
But more officials think they will need to raise interest rates at least four times this year if the economy performs in line with their expectations. Some seven of 15 participants now expect at least four rate increases this year, an increase from four of 16 participants at the December meeting.
Most Fed officials also expect the Fed would need to raise rates at least another three times next year. At the December meeting, officials projected around two increases would be needed in 2019.