Chairman Janet Yellen last night pushed rates up from targeting a range of 0.25 per cent to 0.5 per cent, to between 0.5 per cent and 0.75 per cent. It was the Fed's first move for more than a year and only its second increase since the financial crisis. But policymakers said there could be three increases in 2017, along with three more in each of the following years, eventually taking rates back to a normal level of 3pc.
Is it time we reclaimed economics from the experts? Why it's too important to be left to the economists
The economy was hardly ever talked about before World War II, yet now it is seen as one of the most important issues of our time. But at the same time, many economists are not being equipped with the skills to warrant the extraordinary role they play. So says Joe Earle, co-author of a new book called The Econocracy. Here's why leaving it to experts is a dangerous game - and how to get involved.
MARKET REPORT: Victoria Flooring shares hit the ceiling following its purchase of Australian firm Dunlop Flooring for £20m
It's the second company Victoria has bought which has focused on underlay (the spongey lining which goes underneath carpet) - the first was Interfloor in September 2015. Dunlop reported revenue of £30m in the year to June 30 and earnings of £3.5m. Victoria supplies around 3,000 flooring stores in the UK, largely independent shops as well as some major retailers, and around 800 in Australia.
INVESTMENT CLINIC: I always seem to invest in funds just as they take a turn for the worse - how can I avoid this?
Unfortunately, this is the problem with choosing a fund based on its past performance. No fund can always be top of the table. This is because the assets it invests in will do better or worse depending on how well the economy is doing, or based on news and sentiment in sectors it chooses or avoids. The manager's style, too, will come in and out of favour.
Banks hike the cost of fixed-rate mortgages as experts warn it's the 'end of an era' for cheap home loans
Banks are hiking the cost of fixed-rate mortgages by hundreds of pounds a year as experts warn it is the 'end of an era' for cheap home loans. Mortgage rates have been at rock-bottom for seven years after the Bank of England's official rate was cut to 0.5per cent, and then to 0.25per cent in August.
Mark Warner Holidays slaps travellers who booked their trips months ago with £50 Brexit surcharge because of pound's collapse since referendum
Holidaymakers who booked trips to Europe months ago are being hit by a Brexit tax of £50 per person. Customers say Mark Warner Holidays is demanding the extra cash because the pound has tumbled against the euro since the EU vote. In June, £1 was worth €1.30. Today, it buys just €1.20, having dipped as low as €1.11 in October. That has made it more expensive for holiday firms to send people to Europe.
We bought a cooker hood costing £199.99 from Currys. At the time, we were having a kitchen fitted, so did not open it straight away. However, when the fitters did open it, they discovered it was damaged. Currys insisted its conditions of sale were that any damage must be reported within 48 hours and would only offer us a 10 per cent refund for damaged goods.
Top performing investment trusts of 2016: After a four year slump, global uncertainty helps gold, mining and commodities top the pile
After years of rocky performance, gold, precious metals and oil made a comeback in 2016 as political uncertainty made nervous investors take refuge in 'safe haven' assets.The top performing investment trust sector is Commodities and Natural Resources, up a whopping 72% - rewarding brave value investors.
Is your 4K television pushing up your energy bills? Data shows latest-spec TVs use more energy than HD versions
Thousands of Britons who have snapped up a 4K television in the Black Friday sale or as a Christmas treat will be facing higher energy bills for the technology, data claims. Energy bills from watching TV are likely to increase for the first time since 2011, according to British Gas's latest home energy report, thanks to the energy sapping devices.
As Basildon and Slough are revealed as Britain's latest property hotspots, we look at what's next for house prices?
While the UK overall saw a 6.9 per cent rise, the ONS figures also showed house prices falling in central London. And they arrived a day after Rightmove forecast asking prices to rise just 2 per cent in 2017, as Brexit uncertainty weighs on the housing market. With property values are rising swiftly in some areas, including Basildon and Slough where they are up a fifth, but falling in others, we take a look at what's happening with house prices.
My late mother made money bequests to relatives - must I pay them before I manage to sell her house?
My mother bequeathed specific sums of money to other relatives which exceed the total amount of liquid assets in her bank accounts, but I haven't managed to sell her house to fund the payments yet. Is it feasible to pay part of the bequest, £5,000 of £15,000 for example, until the property is sold and then pay the balance?
Knowing what price to ask for your property can be a daunting task, but our top tips will help to get your home sold. We asked some leading estate agents - with decades of experience between them - what advice they would give to people seeking to achieve the right price for their home.
A tough year for property ahead: Asking prices tipped to rise just 2% next year, but homes in London could dip 5%
Property asking prices are tipped to rise by just 2 per cent next year while inner London prices could fall by 5 per cent, according to a forecast by property listings giant Rightmove. Prices will rise for the seventh year in a row, says Rightmove, but the pace of gains will slow as uncertainty weighs on the housing market and the London 'price bubble continues to deflate'.
Not just a pretty face: First off-road drive of the new Land Rover Discovery as it chalks up 10,0000 orders before hitting the tarmac
The new Land Rover Discovery has proved a hit before buyers can even get one on the road, but the real verdict on the 4x4 will come when those new owners take it off the tarmac. More than 10,000 people have placed orders for the new Land Rover Discovery 4X4 - including 2,000 in the UK. To see what's in store for them, Ray Massey gets an early off-road test of the new Discovery.
Dixons Carphone and SSE looking after your electrical goods? Joint venture launched to service everything in your home from boiler to laptop
Households across the UK will be able to manage everything in their homes through energy provider SSE and electricals firm Dixons Carphone in future. The duo have got together to provide a 'one-stop solution' for the home, looking after everything from boilers and dishwashers to laptops and wifi. Customers will be able to 'control connected devices in the home, purchase a wide-range of recommended products, arrange installation of smart thermostats or security systems, get peace of mind cover and help to troubleshoot technical and maintenance issues', the pair said.
Hunt for a new chairman at M&S;: But can they bring back the glory days of the ailing High Street giant?
Robert Swannell, who as a banker helped M&S; stave off a £9.4bn bid from Sir Philip Green in 2004, is stepping down next year having taken up his post in January 2011. His reign at M&S; has been overshadowed by the dismal performance of the fashion arm and in particular the crucial womenswear department.
Five potential takeover targets: As foreign firms circle 'cheap' British businesses, ITV tops broker's New Year hit list
Investors looking for sharp and quick returns could spend time weighing up the next possible mega merger, after a string of top deals in recent months resulted in hefty payouts. The Brexit vote sent the pound tumbling and soon saw Japan's SoftBank takeover ARM. Now as Sky becomes a target again, broker AJ Bell has revealed five that could be next.
The age of Trump is almost upon us. The billionaire businessman will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on January 20. Here, The Mail on Sunday explores what America under Donald Trump will mean for British investors. As I stand in the heart of Manhattan surrounded by the bright lights of Broadway and festive bustle of Christmas shoppers, America seems to be in rude health.
With eight scam calls per second and millions of consumers randomly contacted by strangers about their pension every year, protecting savers from the clutches of fraudsters is a high priority. Those with pension pots have become prime targets for a variety of scams since new rules were introduced in April 2015, giving savers easier access to their retirement funds. Research suggests fraudsters sit behind one in ten requests to transfer money out of a pension pot.
'Jess Ennis-Hill never needs to work again - but I earned NOTHING from swimming' says Sharron Davies
Swimmer Sharron Davies never earned a 'single, solitary penny' competing in the Olympics for Great Britain. But she earned more than £100,000 in her role as 'Amazon' in the Gladiators television series and was paid a six-figure sum to present the Big Breakfast back in the 1990s. Davies, 53, who recently designed and launched her own ProSwim swimming goggle range, also made a fortune speculating on the property market - and bought a Porsche 911 for £60,000.
TONY HETHERINGTON: 'I've been signed up to a £3-a-week sex content site without my permission via text message'
Syncronized Limited, based in Coventry, has operated various services providing sexual content to mobile phone users, The titles of some are unprintable. Others include 'Glam Pleasures', 'Sex Dose' and 'Lesbiancourse' offering explicit videos. None of this is illegal, but it does not allow Syncronized to charge for services people did not request - and the company has form for this.
Still no answer Mr Vodafone? 'I've been waiting for a YEAR for Vodafone to settle my complaint, despite all the promises about better service'
Vodafone was recently hit with a record £4.6million fine by Ofcom for serial customer service failings following a sustained campaign by The Mail on Sunday. The fine prompted the company to concede that it had 'let customers down'. Vittorio Colao, group chief executive, confirmed the company was 'working on' fixing its customer service issues which had culminated in inaccurate bills being sent out and complaints being handled poorly.
Millennials think they've drawn the financial short straw - while two-thirds of baby boomers admit they are the 'lucky' generation
A survey of more than 2,000 investors who hold online accounts with Hargreaves Lansdown found that just 15 per cent of those aged between 18 and 35 feel lucky or very lucky financially compared with other age groups, while 62 per cent feel their generation is unlucky or very unlucky. Among those aged between 51 and 70, 72 per cent perceive themselves to be lucky or very lucky in the monetary stakes.
Bentley's first diesel, the Bentayga, is also the world's fastest luxury diesel SUV, claims the company. It's no slouch off-road either, managing slippery slopes and rutted tracks with aplomb. With big 21 in wheels and powered by a triple-turbocharged four-litre V8 engine linked to an eight-speed automatic gearbox (with manual paddles for added fun), it accelerates from rest to 60mph in just 4.6 seconds, and has a top speed of 168 mph, yet will still manage 35.8 miles to the gallon with CO2 emissions of 210g/km.
SMITH & WILLIAMSON GLOBAL GOLD AND RESOURCES FUND: Mining investors strike lucky as gold regains some of its lustre
The gold price has endured a rollercoaster ride over the past year, rising to a high of $1,366 (£1,078) per ounce in July before falling back to $1,164 today. Over the past 12 months, it has risen nearly 10 per cent. Yet investors who have put money in to the shares of miners rather than in physical gold have enjoyed a far better year.
50 ways to save money: Simple steps to cut what you spend that could clear your debts or seriously boost your savings
To clear the average national household debt of ?13,000 at 6% interest with a monthly repayment of ?100 will take around 17 years. There are, however, plenty of simple ways to make significant savings on your regular spending that could clear your debt - or boost your savings - in less than a year. This is Money's top 50 - updated - money-saving tips may appear light-hearted but are deadly serious.
Confused about 'hard' and 'soft' Brexit, the Norway model and the Swiss solution? This handy table explains the options for the UK's exit from the EU
Despite endless media coverage of the political wrangling and financial speculation, the average Briton can be forgiven for remaining confused about what 'soft' and 'hard' Brexit really mean. About the difference between the 'Norway model' for the UK's post-Brexit relationship with the UK and the 'Swiss solution'. But a clever table put together by HSBC in a report called 'Is Brexit Getting Harder?' cleaves some clarity from the murk.
Several months after the Bank of England slashed the base rate to 0.25 per cent and lenders are still cutting mortgage rates on almost a weekly basis - but how low can they really go? The experts say not a lot lower and it's likely that if you get a mortgage at the moment, it's going to be a pretty cracking deal.
For many buy-to-let looks an attractive income investment in a time of low rates and stock market volatility. Climbing house prices, rising rents and improving mortgage deals are tempting investors - although they will need a big deposit. Read This is Money's top ten buy-to-let tips
Best paid jobs 2015: Compare your salary to the national average in this league table of 350 professions - and see the year's winners and losers
Musicians have seen pay rises averaging nearly 20 per cent in 2015, while cleaners are getting 17.8 per cent more, and window cleaners 12.3 per cent. Artists in general are earning 14.6 per cent more in 2015 than 2014, according to the huge annual data dump of pay scales by the Office For National Statistics highlights.
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