Tags: fed | economy | rates | invest

I Think the Fed Will Still Hike Rates 4 Times This Year

I Think the Fed Will Still Hike Rates 4 Times This Year
(Dollar Photo Club)

Monday, 25 January 2016 10:10 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement on Wednesday afternoon has the potential of becoming one of these relatively rare “pivotal” events of the first quarter.

The big question is if (and that’s of course a big “if”) the FOMC statement will provide the market more clarity about the Fed’s actualized timetable for its monetary policy normalization plans.

The expectations for a second Fed rate hike in March have dwindled substantially since December 15-16 when we read in the FOMC minutes: “Many expressed the view that the risks to the global economy that emerged late this summer had receded and anticipated moderate improvement in economic growth abroad in the coming year as currency and commodity markets stabilized.”

This apparently isn't the case any longer, reflected by the volatile and negative performances in the markets, especially since the start of the year.

The CME 30-day Fed Fund futures prices in Chicago point now at a first Fed rate hike in June.

That said, it is certainly noteworthy how Fed officials have recently tried to play down the impact turbulence in the markets has on the real U.S. economy.

Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker recently said: “I think our real economies (the U.S. and China) are linked less than you would think from the extent to which our equity markets seem to have moved in parallel with movements in their exchange rate and their equity markets,” adding, the U.S. stock market’s heightened volatility last summer following China’s stock market woes and a devaluation in the yuan in hindsight looks like an overreaction ... the same thing is the case now."

Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, who is an FOMC voting member this year. said the stock market rout in China, weak oil prices together with other elements are “furthering the concern that global growth has slowed significantly,” adding a second hike will face a strict test as the Fed looks for tangible evidence that U.S. growth will be “at or above potential” and inflation is moving back up toward the Fed’s 2 percent target.

These are only two comments among various others, but both underline the fact it is very difficult to paint a clear picture of what probably the timing of the Fed’s path to normalization could be.

When we have at the same time a continuously improving labor market in the U.S., then I think investors shouldn’t be surprised if the Fed would stick to its planned four rate hikes of 0.25 percent each for this year, which would really surprise the markets and many experts wouldn't like at all.

Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer said only two weeks ago that new restrictions on the Fed’s ability to lend freely if a new financial crisis hits could do more harm than good.

As always, we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

For Wednesday, I personally do not expect the FOMC to signal they will place their planned rate hikes for 2016 on hold. 

Yes, it could become an interesting week.

Etienne "Hans" Parisis is a bank economist who has advised global billionaires and governments on the financial markets and international investments. To read more of his articles, GO HERE NOW.

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I personally do not expect the FOMC to signal they will place their planned rate hikes for 2016 on hold.
fed, economy, rates, invest
Monday, 25 January 2016 10:10 AM
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