Fed Lacker Says Financial Markets Could be Surprised on Rates

The Federal Reserve will likely have to raise interest rates more rapidly than financial markets currently expect given that any new policies by the Trump administration, while uncertain, will force the Fed’s hand, a hawkish central banker said on Tuesday.

Since the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president, markets have rallied on hopes of fiscal stimulus. Yet while forecasts from Fed officials suggest roughly three rate hikes could come this year, futures markets see only two, based on probabilities.

“Rates need to rise more briskly than markets now seem to expect,” Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker, a long-time proponent of tighter monetary policy who is retiring in September, said in prepared remarks.

“The elevated uncertainty now surrounding fiscal policy, particularly the potential for substantial fiscal stimulus, suggests that our next increase should come sooner rather than later in order to reduce the risks associated with having to raise rates more rapidly later on,” he added.

Lacker, who does not vote on policy this year under a rotation, added there was “considerable uncertainty” about the effect that Trump’s fiscal polices would have on the U.S. economy, which is roughly at full employment.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza