The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee decided to lower the target range for the federal funds rate by half a percentage point, to a rate of 1% to 1.25%.

In a statement, the Committee said it is closely monitoring developments and their implications for the economic outlook and will use its tools and act as appropriate to support the economy.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Fed’s move reflects fears the coronavirus epidemic is raising recession risks for the U.S. and global economies.

The Journal reported the Fed’s response shows how policy makers are bracing for greater economic distress from a contagious, flu-like virus than seemed possible just a week ago.