Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Fed's Look Forward

After yesterday's Federal Reserve meeting, the Fed Open Market Committee released its quarterly "dot plot," in which each member predicts where interest rates are headed. The median FOMC member predicts that rates will remain under 1 percent at the end of 2016, with a longer term target at just 3.25 percent.

Assuming that the Fed would continue raising rates a quarter of a percent at a time, that suggests only two more hikes are coming this year. The likeliest dates for those moves would be after Fed meetings in June and December.

The projections have come down since the last release, after December's meeting. At that point, the median FOMC member saw rates between 1.25 percent and 1.5 percent at the end of 2016, with rates eventually rising to around 3.5 percent in the longer term.

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