The CME FedWatch Tool, which calculates the odds of a Fed move on interest rates by looking at prices in the Fed Funds Futures market, puts the odds of a 25 basis point interest rate increase from the U.S. central bank tomorrow at 86.4%. That’s up from 73.8% on March 20.
Odds that the Fed will hold rates steady fell to 13.6% today from 26.2% yesterday.
There’s no chance, futures prices say, that the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates by 50 basis points. A month ago the futures market was pricing in a 24% chance of a 50 basis point tightening.
Just 11 out of the 98 economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect the Fed to pause its cycle of interest rate increases on Wednesday.
With this degree of consensus, the Dot Plot projections of interest rates, inflation, and economic growth at the end of 2023 and 2024 will play a key role in deciding how any Federal Reserve decision is greeted by the financial markets. A 25 basis point increase in rates coupled with a dovish take on future interest rates–where will interest rates peak, according to the Fed’s projections is the key data point–would support stock prices. The same move on rates coupled with a forecast of a higher peak rate would be likely to hit stock prices.
The Fed will announce its decision on interest rates at 2 p.m. New York time tomorrow.