The Federal Reserve won’t steepen the path of interest-rate increases this year in the face of accelerating U.S. growth, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
In a poll conducted June 5-7, the proportion of respondents who expect at least three additional rate hikes in 2018 dropped slightly, compared with the survey in March. The median estimate from economists now sees two more increases this year, which matches the Fed’s own projections back in March.
All 37 respondents predicted a quarter-percentage-point rate hike when policy makers conclude their two-day meeting in Washington on Wednesday.
“GDP growth could be 4 percent in the second quarter, but we also had a punky-looking first quarter,” said Brian Horrigan, chief economist at money manager Loomis Sayles & Co. in Boston. Concerns over trade disputes, persistently sluggish inflation, a strengthened dollar and strains in emerging markets will also discourage the Fed from reacting more aggressively, he said.
Fed officials will release fresh quarterly economic forecasts and interest-rate projections following their meeting. Thirty minutes later, Chairman Jerome Powell will begin his second press conference since taking the helm in February.