US Fed will hike rates in December, but then it is likely to pause till June

While the markets expect the Fed to hike the rate in December, future hikes will be slow in coming, as Fed chair Janet Yellen has consistently been saying


The chart show the probability of a hike in the Fed Funds Rate to 0.5-0.75%  is 93.5% at the December Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Graphic by Naveen Kumar Saini/Mint
The chart show the probability of a hike in the Fed Funds Rate to 0.5-0.75% is 93.5% at the December Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Graphic by Naveen Kumar Saini/Mint

Markets across the world have been roiled as the yield on US government bonds has shot up.

The yield on the US 10-year Treasury note has moved up from around 1.8% at the beginning of November to 2.3%.

Part of the move can be attributed to the hope that Donald Trump will, as president, borrow heavily to fund a big infrastructure push.

But part of the reason is worry about the US Federal Reserve raising the Fed Funds Rate from the current 0.25-0.5% to 0.5-0.75% at the next Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on 13-14 December.

The chart alongside indicates that perhaps the concerns are a bit overblown.

CME Group, through its FedWatch Tool, has for long been calculating the market’s views on the changes in the Fed’s policy rate at future FOMC meetings, based on CME Group’s 30-day Fed Funds futures prices.

Its charts show that the probability of a hike in the Fed Funds Rate to 0.5-0.75% is 93.5% at the December FOMC meeting.

But thereafter, the probability that the policy rate will exceed that level exceeds 50% only in June next year.

Simply put, while the markets expect the Fed to hike the rate in December, future hikes will be slow in coming, as Fed chair Janet Yellen has consistently been saying.

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