Fed Preview: Connect The Dots

The Federal Reserve (Fed) is widely expected to hike rates for the second time in 2018 at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, June 13. Given that the hike is all but priced in, the hike itself would mean little to markets. Instead, Fed watchers will be looking at any meaningful changes in the policy statement, a new set of economic projections, and Chair Jay Powell’s post-meeting press conference to gauge any changes to the future path of interest rates. There’s a reasonable chance that the median expectation for the number of rate hikes in 2018 in the new projections may shift from three to four, but we believe it’s more important to monitor any changes in the Fed’s inflation views to determine the likelihood that the Fed may shift to a more aggressive path of rate hikes. Unless we see a shift in the Fed’s view of inflation, we will continue to maintain a base case of three total rate hikes in 2018.

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