After a brutal recession and a painfully slow recovery, the U.S. economy no longer needs emergency measures of support from the U.S. Federal Reserve. Policymakers began the process of normalizing monetary policy at the end of 2015, and although the Fed is raising rates because the economy is healthier, the prospect of higher interest rates has created consternation and angst among some investors.
While the Fed’s own projections are for a slow and gradual rate hike cycle, futures pricing suggests that the market thinks interetst rate hikes may be a bit slower. Although the gap between the Fed’s projections and the market’s view has narrowed, there is still room for surprises and volatility. The key thing to watch will be how market expectations adjust to the Fed’s new forecasts, as a Fed that hikes more quickly than the market expects could lead to upward pressure on the U.S. dollar and a de facto tightening for the U.S. economy.[+] Read More