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The Federal Reserve Bank this morning cut interest rates by a half-point each — the federal funds and discount rates — for the first since June 2003. The decision came in response to Fed concerns that the growing economic slowdown nationwide threatens the economy’s ability to grow. The decision marks the bank’s efforts to “forestall some of the adverse effects on the broad economy that might otherwise arise from the disruptions in the financial markets,” according to the Fed statement.

The decision was widely expected as the nation has sustained a major slump in its housing market, especially in regions like San Diego, and a significant crunch in the credit market.

KELLY BENNETT

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