US Fed to unveil third policy decision for 2024 today: JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs expect first rate cut in July; here’s why

  • US Fed is widely expected to hold key interest rates steady till September, however, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs see early rate cuts on the cards.

Nikita Prasad
First Published1 May 2024, 08:44 PM IST
US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference at the Federal Reserve Board Building, in Washington. AP/PTI(AP12_15_2022_000022B)
US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference at the Federal Reserve Board Building, in Washington. AP/PTI(AP12_15_2022_000022B)(AP)

Global investment banking and brokerage majors JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs still expect the US Federal Reserve to cut key interest rates as early as July 2024, despite the policy stance being hawkish and US inflation levels far away from the two per cent target. According to a report by CNN, market observers clearly have divergent views on interest rates. 

Forecasts from major Wall Street banks on the first rate cut are all over the place, according to the report. JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs expect the first cut in July, while Wells Fargo is betting on September. Bank of America does not expect the first cut until December. Some Fed policymakers, meanwhile, have even floated the possibility of a rate hike this year, instead of a cut.

Follow US Fed Meeting Outcome Live Updates: Powell-led FOMC to announce policy decision today, likely to hold key rates steady

The US Federal Reserve will announce its third policy decision for 2024 later today. The US central bank has lifted its key lending rate to a 23-year high of between 5.25 and 5.50 per cent as part of a long-running battle to bring high inflation to its two per cent target. Fed policymakers will not be updating their quarterly economic projections at this week's meeting, so any fresh guidance rests on the policy statement itself and Fed chair Powell's press conference.

US Fed policy economic projections in March

In its second policy for 2024 announced on March 20, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) had said that it expects three rate cuts in 2024 despite sticky inflation. The rate-setting panel had unanimously voted to hold the policy rate at the two-decade high mark, but said it "does not expect it will be appropriate to reduce the target range until it has gained greater confidence that inflation is moving sustainably toward two per cent."

FOMC members also left the median projection for interest rates at end-2024 at the midpoint between 4.50 and 4.75. This means they still expect 0.75 percentage points of cuts before the end of the year, which would likely translate into three 0.25 percentage point cuts. However, since then, key US macro data including US inflation and US gross domestic product (GDP) have beaten Wall Street expectations. The economic data print will likely push the US central bank to focus on its hawkish stance and wait until inflation levels comes under its fixed target before it can touch the current level of interest rates.

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First Published:1 May 2024, 08:44 PM IST
HomeEconomyUS Fed to unveil third policy decision for 2024 today: JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs expect first rate cut in July; here’s why

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