Officials at the U.S. Federal Reserve voted to reduce the central bank’s key interest rate target for the first time since the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, in hopes that it would prevent a global economic slowdown from spreading into the U.S.

The 0.25 percent rate cut lowers the federal funds rate target to between 2 and 2.25 percent, which will lower interest rates that consumers and businesses pay on many types of debt, including mortgages. But since financial analysts had been expecting the Fed to reduce rates for some time now, the rate cut is effectively priced into some products like the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and savings account yields. “The prime lending rate automatically gets lowered due to the Federal Reserve’s cut to the short term fed funds rate. Many borrowers will benefit, especially those with adjustable rate mortgages and commercial real estate loans,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors.

Although the interest rate cut is perceived as a measure to insulate the U.S. from slowing economic activity around the world, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and others have stressed the continued strength of the U.S. economy. While some sectors, including the housing market, have slowed …

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