Federal Reserve Trims Base Rate by Quarter Point

Says the move was to prevent economic downturn

The Federal Reserve cut its base federal funds rate by a quarter percentage point on Dec. 11 to 4.25% in an effort to stave off an economic downturn.

The Federal Open Market Committee voted 9-1 in favor of the action, with one member supporting a half-point reduction.

Incoming information suggests that economic growth is slowing, reflecting the intensification of the housing correction and some softening in business and consumer spending," the panel said. "Moreover, strains in financial markets have increased in recent weeks. Today's action, combined with the policy actions taken earlier, should help promote moderate growth over time."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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