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Fed Expected to Close the Year on a High Note

Posted by Joseph Trevisani on Dec 13, 2017 11:07:15 AM

The year's third  Federal Reserve rate increase is anticipated at the conclusion of  Wednesday's two day policy meeting. The  announcement is scheduled for 2 pm ET followed by outgoing Chair Janet Yellen's final news conference 30 minutes later.

.The expected 25 basis point rise in the Fed Funds target rate would bring the range to 1.25%-1.5%. This would be the highest for this benchmark since October 2008, a month that saw two 0.25% cuts in the midst of the Fed's six  year campaign to limit the damage and rescue the U.S. economy from the effects of the financial crisis

Today's increase will be the fifth since the Yellen Fed  began raising rates from 0.0%-0.25  in December 2015 where they had been  for almost seven years. 

Markets will be focused less on the increase, which has long been priced into trading levels,  and more on the FOMC's projections for interest  rates, inflation and economic growth  in 2018, 2019 and beyond. 

With the economy likely to expand at 3% or more  for three consecutive quarters for the first time in more than a decade, prospective tax reform close to completion in Congress and U.S. interest rates far below thier historical norm, there is  the distinct possibility of a quickening pace of rate increases in the next two years.

Joseph Trevisani

Chief Market Strategist

WorldWidemarkets Online Trading

Chart: Thompson/Reuters

Fed Funds Rate Upper Target

fed funds dec 13.png

 

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