Fed Sees Just One Cut This Year and Higher Rates For The Long Term

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell delivers remarks at a news conference followi
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Fed officials sharply reduced the number of rate cuts they expect this year, indicating that they now expect just a single rate cut this year, projections released Wednesday showed.

The change suggests that the Federal Reserve is likely to hold its interest rate higher for longer than previously anticipated, perhaps not cutting until its December meeting.

The median expectation for the Fed’s benchmark interest rate by year-end rose to 5.1 percent from 4.6 percent, implying that the Fed sees just one rate cut from the current range of 5.25 to 5.50 percent. The earlier projections had implied three cuts this year.

Wall Street had expected a smaller pullback in projected cuts, forecasting Fed officials would pencil in two cuts for this year.

Officials also see inflation running hotter than they did earlier this year. When the Fed last released the economic projections of its officials, the median expectation was for the personal consumption expenditure price index to rise 2.4 percent this year. In the new projections, the median expected rate of inflation rose to 2.6 percent. Core inflation is now seen as rising 2.8 percent, up from 2.6 percent in March.

Fed officials left the median expectation for the economy to grow 2.1 percent this year unchanged. As well, the expected rate of unemployment was unchanged at four percent.

As expected, the Federal Open Market Committee left its interest rate benchmark unchanged.

Looking further out, the Fed sees higher interest rates for longer. The median projection for the federal funds rate at the end of next year rose to 4.1 percent from 3.9 percent in March, implying four rate cuts next year. The Fed expects to bring the rate down to 3.1 percent by the end of the following year.

The median expected federal funds rate over the longer run jumped to 2.8 percent from 2.6 percent. That rate had been locked at 2.5 percent for several years prior to ticking up in March.




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