The Federal Reserve’s recent willingness to support rather than reject aggressive bets on rate hikes has surprised many, and now some on Wall Street believe a 75 basis point hike is firmly on the table, even as Tuesday’s data shows a slowdown demonstrate. Inflation.
Morgan Stanley said it expects Fed members to “slow the pace of monetary tightening to 50 basis points at the September meeting” but now believes “75 basis points is now the most likely outcome for September, despite pressure from CPI. August is pending.
Inflation is expected to have slowed to 0.1% in August and fallen to 8% from July. 1% in the 12 months to August from 8.5%, weighed down by falling oil prices. However, core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices and is more indicative of underlying price pressures, is expected to have held steady at 0.3% in August but has risen to 6.1% in the 12 months to August .
Others agree, pointing out that a slowdown in the pace of inflation is unlikely to force the Fed to soften as inflation would still remain well above the 2% target. With interest rates a bit more muted, it would still be “too early” for the Fed to move on to a 50 basis point rate hike, said Johan Grahn, head of ETF strategy at Allianz. “Inflation is nowhere near what the Fed is aiming for,” Grahn added. “If they start to waver in their communication and become a little more dovish, the chances of missing their inflation target will increase.
But the need to accelerate rate hikes is likely to push the Fed’s benchmark rate to about 3.875%, near dovish territory, Morgan Stanley said as it forecast another 50 basis-point hike in November and last 25 basis-points in December . Going into a hawkish zone that neither boosts nor weighs on economic growth is likely to “Prompt the Fed to switch to a hawkish stance after the December meeting,” adds Morgan Stanley, but warns that “there is little room for a Yield of remains cuts except in extreme recession scenarios.