Fed is poised to cut rates for first time in a decade

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve is poised to cut its key interest rate Wednesday to counter what it sees as threats to the U.S. economy ranging from uncertainties caused by President Donald Trump’s trade conflicts to persistently subpar inflation to a darkened global outlook.It will be the Fed’s first rate cut since December 2008 in the depths of the Great Recession.Most analysts expect the Fed to announce a quarter-point cut in its benchmark short-term rate. That rate, which affects many consumer and business loans, is now in a range of 2.25% to 2.5% after nine quarter-point rates increases from December 2015 to December 2018.Under Chairman Jerome Powell, the Fed has faced pressure to ease credit since it raised its key rate in December for the fourth time in 2018.Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press