WASHINGTON—The Federal Reserve voted to cut interest rates by a quarter-percentage point for the second time in as many months to cushion the economy against a global slowdown amplified by the U.S.-China trade conflict.
While the central bankers left the door open to additional cuts, they were split over Wednesday’s decision and the outlook for further reductions.
Seven of 10 officials voted in favor lowering the short-term benchmark to a range between 1.75% and 2%. As in July, two reserve bank presidents dissented from the decision in favor of holding rates steady. This time, Fed Chairman
faced a third dissent from a bank president who preferred a larger, half-point cut.
“We took this step to keep the economy strong,” said Mr. Powell in a news conference after the decision.