US Federal funds rate cut by 50 basis points to 1 percent
October 29, 2008: Federal Reserve policymakers in US voted unanimously for a half-percentage-point cut in the federal funds rate
The Fed reduced its key interest rate from 1.5 percent to 1 percent in a bid to boost economic growth and increase the availability of credit. Today's rate cut follows a 50-basis-point reduction earlier in the month, when the Fed along with several central banks around the world cut the rates to address the global credit crisis.
Following is the release of The Federal Reserve Board-
The Federal Open Market Committee decided today to lower its target for the federal funds rate 50 basis points to 1 percent.
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.
In a related action, the Board of Governors unanimously approved a 50-basis-point decrease in the discount rate to 1-1/4 percent. In taking this action, the Board approved the requests submitted by the Boards of Directors of the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston, New York, Cleveland, and San Francisco.
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