The Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to near zero on Sunday as part of a series of measures intended to combat the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The central bank cut rates to 0% to 0.25%, the central bank announced in a statement. The Fed will also purchase $700 billion worth of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities through quantitative easing, a measure previously used during the Great Recession to get money flowing back into the markets, The Washington Post reported.
President Donald Trump, who on Friday criticized the Fed for not lowering interest rates in line with other nations’ central banks, hailed the bank’s move during a press conference Sunday.
TRUMP on Fed lowering interest rates to zero:
“It makes me very happy.” pic.twitter.com/5JK1UCtxEU
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) March 15, 2020
“It makes me very happy,” Trump said. “I want to congratulate the Federal Reserve. For starters, they’ve lowered the Fed rate from what it was, which was 1% to 1.25%, and it’s been lowered down to 0% to 0.25%.”
“That’s a big difference. It’s quite a bit,” Trump said. “It’s really great for our country.” (RELATED: Here’s A List Of How Every Country In The World Is Responding To Coronavirus)
The Fed said in a statement Sunday it was prepared to “use its full range of tools” to support the economy amid the coronavirus-induced economic slump.
“The coronavirus outbreak has harmed communities and disrupted economic activity in many countries, including the United States. Global financial conditions have also been significantly affected,” the Fed said.
The Fed said the reduced interest rates are expected to stay in place until the central bank is “confident that the economy has weathered recent events and is on track to achieve its maximum employment and price stability goals.”
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