The inevitable revealed itself Friday as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said in a speech at the central bank’s annual retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming that a gradual rate hike is to be expected–a common notion felt in the U.S. capital markets. In June, the Fed hiked interest rates for a second time, bringing the federal funds rate up 25 basis points to its current level of 2 and now more is expected to come albeit at a snail’s pace.
“I see the current path of gradually raising interest rates as the (Federal Open Market Committee’s) approach to taking seriously both of these risks,” said Powell. “As the most recent FOMC statement indicates, if the strong growth in income and jobs continues, further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate will likely be appropriate.”
With a tailwind of strong economic data and a stock market that boasts the longest bull run in the S&P 500, the prevailing sentiment continues to be that the Fed would continue to raise rates. Per MarketWatch, current market odds are showing a 96% probability of a rate hike in September and 60% chance of another in December.