The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee, in an eight to two vote, decided to cut the borrowing rate by a quarter of a point. This was the first cut to the borrowing rate made since 2008.
In a statement, the Fed concurred that economic activity has been strong and the labor market is rising, but added the committee wants to “foster maximum employment and price stability. In light of the implications of global developments for the economic outlook as well as muted inflation pressures, the committee decided to lower the target range for the federal funds rate to 2% to 2.25%.”
The Fed said that this action supports the committee’s view that sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee’s symmetric 2% objective are the most likely outcomes, but uncertainties about this outlook remain.
The Fed added it will continue to monitor the situation and take further action when appropriate.
Voting for the monetary policy action were Jerome H. Powell, Chair; John C. Williams, Vice Chair; Michelle W. Bowman; Lael Brainard; James Bullard; Richard H. Clarida; Charles L. Evans; and Randal K. Quarles. Voting against the action were Esther L. George and Eric S. Rosengren, who preferred at this meeting to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2.25 to 2.5%.