The Fed has kept short-term borrowing rates near zero since December 2008 to support recovery from the financial crisis. However, the economy is picking up steam -- GDP growth should be in the range of 3% in 2015, up from 2.3 this year.
Households have worked down much of their debt, and home and stock prices have risen. Consequently, consumers are in a stronger postion than at any time since the days before the financial crisis and are using credit cards again. Auto sales remain strong.
Business spending on new facilities, computers and software should continue advancing at a healthy 6% pace through next year.
The $64,000 question remains: Will conditions abroad pull down the U.S. economy?
The Eurozone is teetering on recession and the Japanese economy is contracting, but chronically slow growth and recession in those places are hardly new. U.S. businesses adjusted their export expectations and investment strategies long before those conditions hit the headlines and rattled the stock market.
In China, growth slowing from about 8% to 7% is hardly cataclysmic. The real U.S. problems with the Middle Kingdom are its artificial barriers to U.S. exports and subsidized sales of manufacturers into U.S. markets. China is using protectionism to move up the technological ladder to challenge American leadership in areas such as computer networking and nuclear energy.