“I’m really curious to see if anybody goes there and asks him if quantitative tightening could be taken off the table given a certain set of circumstances,” said DiMartino. “Because as we have seen, interest rates have risen–they’ve blown to the highest level since 2011–at some point, some country is going to get hurt if the dollar is about to move, which is the big unknown of course.”
According to the latest CNBC Fed Survey, which showed that a rate hike today is all but certain at 98%, the chances of another hike in December is just as strong at 96%. The Fed’s two-day monetary policy meeting began yesterday, and the common notion among the capital markets forecasts that more rate hikes are to come.
Furthermore, the survey, comprised of 46 respondents–economists, fund managers and strategists, forecasted an increase of 50 more basis points in 2019, bringing the federal funds rate to a range of 2.75 to 3%.All in all, the average of respondents see the federal funds rate at 3.3% once the Federal Reserve is done hiking rates.
One point of contention mentioned in the markets is that the Fed could give pause to their rate-hiking measures if trade wars continue to be a concern. Both the U.S. and China have already slapped each other with tariffs worth $50 billion total, which have raised questions on whether tariffs turn from sector-wide issues to broad economic disruptions.
“I wouldn’t say that the Fed is that laser-focused on the potential for a trade war even though the rhetoric keeps ramping up, the numbers are still fairly small,” said DiMartino.
For the full interview with DiMartino, click here.
For more trends in fixed income, visit the Rising Rates Channel.