As expected, the Federal Reserve cut short-term rates for the second time this year, reducing its benchmark federal funds rate to a range between 1.75% and 2.00%.
“Although household spending has been rising at a strong pace, business fixed investment and exports have weakened,’’ the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement on Wednesday in Washington.
Like the last Fed rate cut, the decision was not unanimous, but this time three, not two, Fed policymakers opposed the move.
Two of them — Kansas City Fed President Esther L. George and Boston Fed President Eric S. Rosengren — opposed any cut now, and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard favored a 50 basis-point move.
Also noteworthy is the fact that seven out of 17 central bankers — the 12 voting on the FOMC and five nonvoting Fed bank presidents — expect just one more rate cut before year end and no Fed officials expect additional cuts through 2022.