WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is saying that the economy is healthy and that the Fed’s steady interest rate increases are intended to prolong its expansion.

Powell says he and his colleagues believe the Fed’s approach to gradually raising rates from ultra-lows to historically normal levels “is helping to sustain this strong economy for the longer-run benefit of all Americans.”

The Fed chairman says the benefits of the strong economy have helped boost employment but notes that those benefits haven’t reached all Americans.

Powell is speaking to a group of Rhode Island business executives. His remarks come one day after the Fed raised its key policy rate for a third time this year and signaled that it plans to tighten credit once more this year and three times in 2019.