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wall street is revising its expectations for rate cuts now considering the possibility that they may not commence until march 2025 384

Wall Street

Wall Street is revising its expectations for rate cuts, now considering the possibility that they may not commence until March 2025.

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Robert Tavares

April 24, 2024 - 08:00 am

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Reassessment of Rate Cut Timelines Amidst Economic Uncertainty

Economists and strategists are adjusting their outlook on interest rate cuts, now projecting that the Federal Reserve may delay any reductions until at least September. Some are even considering the possibility of no rate cuts for the entirety of this year.

Fed's Timing Uncertainty

Analysts at Bank of America highlight a significant risk that the Fed might postpone rate cuts until March 2025, at the earliest. Despite this caution, they currently maintain a forecast for a single rate cut in December. The hope lingers that forthcoming inflation data may alleviate pressure on the Fed to ease its monetary policy.

Powell's Comments Reinforce Expectations

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's recent statements have solidified the expectation that interest rate reductions are unlikely in the near future. Powell noted the challenges in achieving the Fed's 2% inflation target, suggesting a prolonged period before any policy adjustments.

Market Speculation and Pricing

Market sentiment fluctuates as investors react to evolving Fed rhetoric. Currently, there's a predominant expectation that the Fed will hold off on rate cuts until September, with a considerable chance of a July cut. However, uncertainty looms regarding the possibility of a second rate cut later in the year.

Potential Prolonged Pause in Rate Cuts

There's a growing acknowledgment across Wall Street of the potential scenario where the Fed refrains from cutting rates throughout 2024. Bank of America economists emphasize the reality of a Fed reliant on data, especially considering the unexpected strength in economic activity and inflation data.

Hope for Data-Driven Easing

Some institutions, like Citigroup, remain optimistic that upcoming inflation data could prompt the Fed to start easing monetary policy as early as June or July. However, Powell's cautious approach indicates that the Fed remains highly dependent on incoming economic data to guide its decisions.

Risks of Delayed Action

The possibility of the Fed maintaining its current stance poses risks, particularly regarding a potential policy mistake. Delayed rate cuts could impact labor market stability and pose challenges for sectors like regional banks, vulnerable to duration risks associated with fixed-income portfolios.

Call for Prompt Action

Some economists, like Mark Zandi, argue that the Fed should have initiated rate cuts earlier, considering the subdued inflation levels. Zandi emphasizes the importance of addressing the risk of a policy mistake, urging the Fed to act decisively to avoid adverse economic consequences.