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Bill Evans, Research Analyst at Westpac, suggests that their forecasts for the US Federal Funds rate have been consistently above market expectations.

Key Quotes

“Our analysis of the current market pricing is for around 65 basis points of further tightening through 2018 and 2019. We have expected a total of 75 basis points over that period with one 25 bps hike in September, followed by a pause, and then 25 bps hikes in March and June with the rate peaking at 2.625% in mid-2019.”

“We have expected that signs of the US economy slowing into the second half of 2019 (partly under the weight of a sharp slowdown in government spending) would see the FED curtailing its tightening cycle in anticipation of eventually cutting rates from 2021.”

“That sum of 75 basis points of hikes from the FED was still slightly above market expectations but we now believe we need to be even more bold on the FED forecasts.
Trends in core inflation; wages; and employment are increasingly casting doubt on a FED pause between September and March.”

“On a six month annualised basis, the core PCE is now running at 2.3% (to May) and the Employment Cost Index is rising at 2.9% (to March). This pace is somewhat faster than we had expected providing the FED with ample justification for not pausing.”

“In that regard we note that the FED has emphasised the symmetrical nature of its inflation objective and therefore not indicating any immediate concern that the momentum in the core PCE is running above the 2% target. As such, we are still expecting the gradual (3 month intervals) approach to the tightening cycle.”