Federal Reserve cuts interest rate for 3rd time this year

A statement the Fed released after its latest policy meeting removed a key phrase that it has used since June to indicate a future rate cut is likely.

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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell listens to feedback during a panel at the Federal Reserve Board Building in Washington

In this Oct. 4, 2019, file photo Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell listens to feedback during a panel at the Federal Reserve Board Building in Washington. The Fed concludes its two-day meeting Wednesday, Oct. 30.

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File

The Federal Reserve has cut its benchmark interest rate for the third time this year to try to sustain the economic expansion in the face of global threats. But it hinted that it won’t cut again at its next meeting.

The Fed’s move reduces the short-term rate it controls — which influences many consumer and business loan rates — to a range between 1.5% and 1.75%.

A statement the Fed released after its latest policy meeting removed a key phrase that it has used since June to indicate a future rate cut is likely. This could mean that Fed officials will prefer to leave rates alone while they assess how the economy fares in the months ahead.

The economy is in its 11th year of expansion, fueled by consumer spending and a solid if slightly weakened job market. But by cutting rates the Fed is trying to counter uncertainties heightened by President Donald Trump’s trade conflicts, a weaker global economy and a decline in U.S. manufacturing.

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