In Wake Of Coronavirus, Fed Cuts Interest Rates By Half A Percent

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Federal Reserve has made an emergency rate cut to help the economy withstand the coronavirus outbreak.

In a stunning move, the Fed announced Tuesday morning that it was cutting interest rates by half a percent. The move is not unprecedented, and not necessarily unexpected, but economic analyst Mark Hamrick told WBZ NewsRadio's Jeff Brown it is a strong statement.

"That's a sign how seriously our nation's central bankers regard the downside risk to the economy," Hamrick said.

He added that the Fed's move follows coordinated action from the G7 nations, and underscores how shaky things are in the world right now.

"We have to basically take this day by day at this point," Hamrick said.

federal reserve

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell announced an emergency rate cut Tuesday. (Getty Images)

It also follows pressure from President Donald Trump. Still, Hamrick said, it's just a step.

"I certainly would not want to stake anyone's money on the notion that the worst is behind in the stock markets," he said.

This is the first time the Fed moved on a half point reduction since the Great Recession, and it could move again later this month.

WBZ NewsRadio's Jeff Brown (@jeffbrownwbz) reports

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