In its second cut in a little over a week, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decided to lower its target for the federal funds rate 50 basis points to 3 percent on Jan. 30.

“Financial markets remain under considerable stress, and credit has tightened further for some businesses and households,” the FOMC said in a release. “Moreover, recent information indicates a deepening of the housing contraction as well as some softening in labor markets.”

This is the FOMC’s second cut this year and the fifth time it has lowered the federal funds rate since September 2007.

“Today’s policy action, combined with those taken earlier, should help to promote moderate growth over time and to mitigate the risks to economic activity,” the FOMC added.