Despite market turmoil, the Fed is expected to approve a quarter-point rate hike next week

Market pricing and numerous experts on Wall Street suggest that the Federal Reserve is likely to sanction a quarter-percentage-point increase in interest rates next week

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell

Despite turbulence in the banking sector and a cloud of uncertainty looming, it seems highly probable that the Federal Reserve will authorize a quarter-point rise in interest rates next week. This prediction is based on market projections and the opinions of many prominent figures in the financial industry.

Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a significant fluctuation in rate expectations, ranging from a possible half-point increase to a decision to maintain current rates, and even some chatter about a potential rate reduction by the Fed.

There is a growing agreement that despite being aware of the disruptions in the financial sector, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and his colleagues in the central bank will need to communicate that their focus remains on combating inflation.

It is probable that the Federal Reserve will implement a 0.25 percentage point, or 25 basis point, rise in interest rates. However, they may also provide reassurances that this decision is not predetermined and could be subject to alterations based on market trends in the upcoming days. Overall, the signal is that the Fed intends to increase interest rates.

“They have to do something, otherwise they lose credibility,” said Doug Roberts, founder and chief investment strategist at Channel Capital Research. “They want to do 25, and the 25 sends a message. But it’s really going to depend on the comments afterwards, what Powell says in public. … I don’t think he’s going to do the 180-degree shift everybody’s talking about.”

The general consensus in the markets is that the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates.

As of Friday afternoon, the probability of a quarter-point increase was approximately 75%, based on data from CME Group that utilized Fed funds futures contracts as a reference point. The remaining 25% of market participants expected no hike, speculating that policymakers may choose to retreat from the forceful tightening measures initiated slightly more than a year ago.

Goldman Sachs is one of the most high-profile forecasters seeing no change in rates, as it expects central bankers in general “to adopt a more cautious short-term stance in order to avoid worsening market fears of further banking stress.”

“This might be one of those times where there’s a difference between what they should do and what I think they will do. They definitely should not tighten policy,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “People are really on edge, and any little thing might push them over the edge, so I just don’t get it. Why can’t you just pivot here a little and focus on financial stability?”

The timing of the rate increase, which occurred slightly more than a week following the introduction of an emergency lending facility by other regulators, aimed to address a crisis of confidence in the banking industry.


Market pricing and several Wall Street experts predict that the Federal Reserve will approve a 0.25% increase in interest rates next week. This potential rate hike follows an emergency lending facility introduced by other regulators to alleviate a banking industry confidence crisis that occurred just over a week ago. Despite this, some economists, such as Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, believe that tightening policy would not be the optimal decision.

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