Fed Fund Rate Rises — More in 2017?
Today, the Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate target by roughly 0.25%, as anticipated. The only surprise was increasing expectations for the next three years, including three more increases for 2017. The Fed noted that inflation expectations had increased and that labor market conditions were continuing to tighten. We have had LNWM portfolios positioned to benefit from flat or rising interest rates for some time now, and the recent rise in yields has been beneficial. The fixed-income market reacted largely as expected, with yields moving higher, particularly for shorter-duration Treasuries. Given the expectation for higher economic growth next year, we don’t think three more rate increases are out of the question in 2017; however, the Fed’s official statement included a commitment to “gradual” rate increases.