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A Cautious Fed and Future Rate Hikes

Expect an inflation-based and data-driven approach

The Federal Reserve (Fed), guided by Chair Janet Yellen, is likely to follow a very different path with a much less aggressive approach for future rate hikes than the Fed under Alan Greenspan. During the last two tightening episodes under Greenspan, the Fed quickly raised the target federal funds rate to above 5%, even though core inflation was around 2%. The Yellenled Fed will probably be much more cautious. There appears to be no end-point target rate, even if members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) have views about the long-run possibilities. It is not even clear if the Fed wants to take the effective federal funds rate above the core rate of inflation over the next two years.

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