There’s little doubt that the Federal Open Market Committee will vote to raise the short-term interest rate by a quarter-percentage point at today’s (Nov. 10) meeting, economists and traders say.
A poll of economists surveyed by CBS MarketWatch expects an increase in the federal funds rate from 1.75 percent to 2 percent when the announcement is made about 2:15 p.m. Eastern time.
The prime rate, currently at 4.75%, is likely to increase by the same quarter-percentage point.
The debatable question is what the committee will do at its Dec. 14 meeting.
If financial markets react to today’s announcement, it’s likely to be in response to a change in wording in the statement, not to a rate hike that has been so well telegraphed.
The wording of today’s statement could hold valuable clues about what the committee intends to do in December. But the committee may decide to keep its options open and not signal anything at all in the remarks.
“It is much more likely that changes in the statement will merely freshen up the language that describes recent economic developments,” Goldman Sachs economists wrote in a note to clients.