Fed Cuts Rates by a Quarter Point as Insurance Against Global Risks

Breitbart | 9/18/2019 | Staff
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The Federal Reserve cut interest rates by a quarter-percentage point, the second cut this year.

The Fed moved its benchmark short-term rate target to a range between 1.75 percent and 2 percent at the conclusion of its two-day monetary policy meeting Wednesday.

Step - Economy - Face - Developments - Insurance

“We took this step to help keep the economy strong in the face of some notable developments and to provide insurance against ongoing risks,” Fed chair Jerome Powell said in a press conference after the meeting.

The policy statement released after Wednesday’s meeting indicated the Fed could cut rates again in the months ahead if economic conditions continue to warrant a looser monetary policy.

Fed - Statement - Labor - Market - Activity

The Fed’s statement noted that “the labor market remains strong and that economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate. Job gains have been solid, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has remained low. Although household spending has been rising at a strong pace, business fixed investment and exports have weakened.”

Markets have been reflecting the expectations for a second rate cut this month ever since the Fed cut rates at its previous meeting in late July. Futures indicate that traders expect the Fed to cut another quarter of a percentage point before the end of the year.

Members - Federal - Open - Market - Committee

Three members of the ten-member Federal Open Market Committee voted against Wednesday’s decision. Two would not have cut rates. The third would have cut by a half a percentage point.

Fed officials in August successfully dampened any expectations that they could cut by a half a percentage point at the September meeting.

Weeks - Fed - Officials - Growth - Trade

In recent weeks, Fed officials have focused on slowing global growth, rising trade policy uncertainty, and very inflation as possibly indicating a need for further cuts.

“Business investment and exports have weakened amid falling manufacturing output,” Powell said at the press conference. “The main reasons appear to be slower...
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