WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve is cutting its key interest rate for the first time in a decade to try to counter threats ranging from uncertainties caused by President Donald Trump’s trade wars to chronically low inflation and a dim global outlook.
The central bank cut its benchmark rate – which affects many loans for households and businesses – by a quarter-point to a range of 2% to 2.25%. It’s the first rate cut since December 2008 during the depths of the Great Recession, when the Fed slashed its rate to a record low near zero and kept it there until 2015.
The economy is far healthier now despite risks to what’s become the longest expansion on record.
The Fed repeats a pledge to “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion,” wording that markets have seen as a signal for possible future rate cuts.