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May 13, 2022

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As the effects of the coronavirus will "weigh on" U.S. economic activity in the near term and pose risks to the economic outlook, the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed's policy-making body, decided to lower the target range for the federal funds rate to 0-0.25 percent.

by Xinhua Writers Xiong Maoling, Gao Pan

WASHINGTON, March 16 (Xinhua) -- In a surprise announcement, the U.S. Federal Reserve on Sunday cut its benchmark interest rate by a full percentage point to near zero and pledged to boost its bond holdings by at least 700 billion U.S. dollars amid mounting fears over the COVID-19 outbreak.

The 100-basis-point cut came just less than two weeks after an earlier inter-meeting move, which slashed the benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points, failed to calm jittery investors.

The central bank is scheduled to hold its next policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday and was originally expected to take the action then.



"The coronavirus outbreak has harmed communities and disrupted economic activity in many countries, including the United States," the Fed said Sunday afternoon in a statement, adding global financial conditions have also been "significantly affected."