The Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates again before the end of December. According to one report from Yahoo! Finance, the minutes from the latest meeting of the Fed’s leadership stated that the next rate increase — the fourth raise this year — is expected to happen “fairly soon.” The Balance reports that the previous raises this year occurred in March, June, and September.
While the Fed is fairly sure in their position to increase rates later this year, the current group remains undecided about the Fed’s path in 2019. Some of the Fed’s leadership expressed concerns that an additional rate hike in the first few months of 2019 could “slow” the US economy. These fears have been exasperated by the recent signs of the US stock market’s vulnerability.
Despite the indecision of the Fed’s plan for next year, the group was much clearer about its intentions to design a more flexible strategy based on real-time financial data, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. With this mindset, the Fed leadership’s plan will not be “set in stone.” While the group always considers the current economic climate, sometimes the rate increases have been practically “pre-scheduled.”
“It is less of a foregone conclusion that they’re going to be hiking at every other meeting,” said JPMorgan Chase’s chief US economist Michael Feroli during an interview.