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**MNI POLICY: FOMC Cuts Rates; Signals Pause To Monitor Data>

--Deletes 'Will Act As Appropriate' To Sustain Expansion
--Uncertainties Remain; To Continue to Monitor Incoming Data
--Job Growth Solid But Inflation Still Running Below 2%
By Jean Yung
     WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Federal Reserve on Wednesday lowered its 
benchmark interest rate by a quarter-point as widely expected and 
signaled that it would likely refrain from cutting rates further in the 
near future. 
     The post-meeting policy statement removed a pledge that the Federal 
Open Market Committee would "act as appropriate" to sustain the 
expansion, a phrase that had become synonymous with readiness to lower 
interest rates amid escalating trade wars and a global slowdown. 
     Instead, the Fed said that it would "continue to monitor the 
implications of incoming information for the economic outlook as it 
assesses the appropriate path of the target range for the federal funds 
     The following are other key points from the FOMC statement released 
     --Rates target lowered to 1.50% to 1.75%, with Boston Fed President 
Eric Rosengren and Kansas City Fed President Esther George dissenting in 
favor of keeping rates where they are. 
     --Economic outlook is little changed since September. Jobs gains 
have been "solid" and the unemployment rate has remained low. Household 
spending has been rising "at a strong pace," but business fixed 
investment and exports "remain weak." 
     --While a strong labor market and inflation around 2% 
remain the "most likely outcomes," the Fed repeated that "uncertainties 
about this outlook remain." 
     --No new announcements regarding asset purchases or a standing repo 
facility. The IOER was lowered to 1.55% from 1.80% as expected. 
--MNI Washington Bureau, Tel: +1 202-371-2121; email:
     ** MNI Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 ** 

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