US Fed cuts interest rates for 3rd time this year

The US Federal Reserve (Fed) has cut interest rates for the third time this year to ensure the economy comes safely through the trade war without sliding into a recession. While lowering the policy rate by 25 basis points to the 1.50-1.75 per cent target, its statement dropped an earlier reference that it ‘will act as appropriate’ to sustain the economic expansion.

The statement’s language implied there may be no further policy cuts this year. Latest statistics show the US economy slowed in the third quarter this year. The Fed cut rates in July and again in September.

The Fed said it will "monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook as it assesses the appropriate path" of its target interest rate.

Stating that business investment and exports remain ‘weak’, the Fed described the US labour markets as ‘strong’ and economic activity as ‘rising at a moderate rate’.

As in its previous policy statement, the central bank said it took the action to reduce borrowing costs "in light of the implications of global developments for the economic outlook as well as muted inflation pressures".

Unemployment is near a 50-year low, inflation is moderate and gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 1.9 per cent in the third quarter, a slowdown from the first half of the year.




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