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Fed forecasts no further rate cuts in 2019 and 2020, but members are divided

Key Points
  • The central bank cut rates Wednesday by 25 basis points to a range of 1.75% to 2.00%.
  • The Fed's September meeting follows its first rate cut since the financial crisis, a 25 basis point reduction in July.
  • The Fed sees no further rate cuts in 2019 and 2020.
  • Though the central bank's forecast showed no further rate lowering, the members of the Federal Open Market Committee were actually divided on what action the Fed should take moving forward.
The Federal Reserve building is pictured on Tuesday August 6, 2019.
Caroline Brehman | CQ-Roll Call Group | Getty Images


The Federal Reserve sees no further rate cuts in 2019 and 2020.

The central bank lowered rates on Wednesday by 25 basis points to a range of 1.75% to 2.00%. The Fed's September meeting follows its first rate cut since the financial crisis, a 25 basis point reduction in July.

Though the Fed's forecast showed no further rate cuts, members of the Federal Open Market Committee were actually divided on what action the central bank should take moving forward.

Five members wanted the Fed to hold its previous range of 2% to 2.25%, five others supported Wednesday's cut but wanted to keep it at that level through the rest of year, while seven members wanted at least one more reduction in 2019.

Stocks were lower Wednesday as a divided Fed failed to give a clear rate forecast for this year.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell had said the July cut was a "midcycle adjustment" to support the economy amid flagging global growth and to boost inflation, suggesting that further reductions this year were not guaranteed.

But Powell, speaking at the central bank's August summit in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, said the Fed "will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion" as the global economy slows due to uncertainty caused by the U.S.-China trade war.

The Fed has adjusted its policy this year after raising rates seven times during the Trump administration. President Donald Trump has repeatedly slammed the Fed for those rate increases, calling for the central bank to slash rates to zero.

Trump criticized Fed Chairman Powell minutes after the central bank's Wednesday decision, presumably for not slashing rates fast enough. The president said the central bank "fails again" and has "no vision."

In June, the last time the Federal Reserve released a forecast, the central back said it did not expect any cuts until 2020.

Ahead of the Fed's 2 p.m. announcement, many economists were forecasting one further cut in 2019, but some investors were hoping for two more.

Here are the Fed's latest targets, released in Wednesday's statement:

This is what it looked like in June: