There has been a lot of speculation on whether the Federal Reserve Bank is thinking about raising or lowering interest rates.
The New York Federal Reserve recently released a survey indicating that they are not ruling out the growing possibility of zero rates. According to the survey carried out in January, dealers believed there was a 75% chance that the Federal Reserve would raise the rate slightly over half. The survey also indicated that traders believed the rate would be raised at the next Fed meeting scheduled for March. However, the survey was carried out before the Fed decided to put the interest rates on hold.
Neel Kashkari, the president of Fed, hinted the possibility of a rate hike in March. He, however, warned that the US central bank should watch out for other macro data developments. He also pointed out that the latest projections given by the Fed suggest that interest rates are expected to rise gradually. He also stated that that the decision would depend on the data and, they said data has been mixed since January. Kashkari said the Fed will continue to observe the data and decide when the time to move is right as of March or beyond.
John Williams, the Fed president for the San Francisco division, stated that there have been very few changes to his outlook since December. That was when he and a few other bankers from the central bank hiked interest rates, marking the first hike in almost ten years. Williams, however, seems relatively calm about the situation. He believes that the economy is doing well despite the shakeups in the international markets.
While answering the lawmakers about her expectations following the raised rates in December, Fed chairlady Janet Yellen stated that she expects the rates to rise slowly this year. Reuters also revealed from its poll that most economists believe that the rates will be hiked twice in 2016. The Federal Open Market Committee will meet on March 15 and 16 to decide on the next rate.