Fed Cuts Interest Rate for Third Time This Year

The Federal Reserve today lowered its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points, the third time this year the central bank has cut rates in an attempt to insulate the United States economy from a potential global slowdown. The new interest rate is now 1.50 percent to 1.75 percent, according to a press release.

The Fed said it continues to see a continuation of economic growth, a robust labor market, and inflation near 2% as “the most likely outcomes,” but cautioned that “uncertainties about this outlook remain.”

According to a press release:

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. In light of the implications of global developments for the economic outlook as well as muted inflation pressures, the Committee decided to lower the target range for the federal funds rate to 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 percent. This action supports the Committee’s view that sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective are the most likely outcomes, but uncertainties about this outlook remain. The Committee will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook as it assesses the appropriate path of the target range for the federal funds rate.

In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its maximum employment objective and its symmetric 2 percent inflation objective. This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments.

Voting for the monetary policy action were Jerome H. Powell, Chair; John C. Williams, Vice Chair; Michelle W. Bowman; Lael Brainard; James Bullard; Richard H. Clarida; Charles L. Evans; and Randal K. Quarles. Voting against this action were: Esther L. George and Eric S. Rosengren, who preferred at this meeting to maintain the target range at 1-3/4 percent to 2 percent.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.

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