Washington, Dec. 20 -- The US Federal Reserve has increased the key short-term interest rates for the fourth-time this year, defying President Donald Trump who has repeatedly attacked the central bank for even considering such a move.

According to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, the world's largest economy continued to strengthen this year, roughly in line with expectations.

"Today we raised our target range for the short-term interest rates by another quarter of a percentage point," Powell told reporters here.

"After today's action, the target range for the federal funds rate is 2.25 per cent to 2.5 per cent, putting it at the lower end of the range of estimates of the longer run normal rate provided by the committee," he said...