News Cycle

A look at the news, politics and journalism in today’s 24-hour media.

Fed Cuts Key Interest Rate to 1 Percent

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Saying the economy had slowed markedly, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues cut their target for a key short-term interest rate to 1 percent this afternoon, the lowest it had been since June 2004. Before then, rates had not been that low since 1958.

Here is the text of the Fed’s Statement:

The Federal Open Market Committee decided today to lower its target for the federal funds rate 50 basis points to 1%.

The pace of economic activity appears to have slowed markedly, owing importantly to a decline in consumer expenditures. Business equipment spending and industrial production have weakened in recent months, and slowing economic activity in many foreign economies is damping the prospects for U.S. exports. Moreover, the intensification of financial market turmoil is likely to exert additional restraint on spending, partly by further reducing the ability of households and businesses to obtain credit.

In light of the declines in the prices of energy and other commodities and the weaker prospects for economic activity, the Committee expects inflation to moderate in coming quarters to levels consistent with price stability.

Recent policy actions, including today’s rate reduction, coordinated interest rate cuts by central banks, extraordinary liquidity measures, and official steps to strengthen financial systems, should help over time to improve credit conditions and promote a return to moderate economic growth. Nevertheless, downside risks to growth remain. The Committee will monitor economic and financial developments carefully and will act as needed to promote sustainable economic growth and price stability.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman; Timothy F. Geithner, Vice Chairman; Elizabeth A. Duke; Richard W. Fisher; Donald L. Kohn; Randall S. Kroszner; Sandra Pianalto; Charles I. Plosser; Gary H. Stern; and Kevin M. Warsh.

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Written by newscycle

October 29, 2008 at 2:45 pm

Posted in Fed

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