The Federal Reserve is expected to again cut key interest rates – now at 3 percent – at its next meeting on March 18.

Futures market investors are betting the cut will be at least a half-percentage point.

Some have predicted a three-quarter-percentage point cut, but most analysts believe the Fed doesn’t view the situation as dire enough for that and the Fed has said it fears fueling inflation.

The Fed’s quarterly Beige Book report, released this week, said housing markets in just about every area of the country were weak, and were characterized by low demand, high inventories, and falling prices. It also found consumers and businesses are growing more cautious.

Source: The Wall Street Journal