The Federal Reserve released the minutes of its open market committee, revealing it’s in no hurry to hike interest rates. While this may be true, Jeff Greenberg, senior economist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, says a rate hike will likely come in September.
However, he was quick to point out the Federal Reserve is comfortable being patient and he believes the “pace of those hikes will be very gradual.” The Fed will likely take its time increasing rates, and Greenberg says he doesn’t expect to see long-term rates move higher by all that much.
It also helps that the European Central Bank and Japan are taking their own easing measures, which makes it easier for the Fed to justify its lower-for-longer rate policy.
Traditionally, inflation is the danger associated with leaving rates low. But with little inflation in both the U.S. and global economies, economists aren’t particularly worried about it this time around, Greenberg explained.
In fact, tightening too soon seems like a bigger risk, he added, because the U.S. economy “is firing on all cylinders” and the labor market is improving.
Should the Federal Reserve increase rates, it will likely add fuel to the fire of a rallying U.S. dollar. Lower gasoline is certainly giving more strength to the consumer, even if they aren’t rushing out and spending all of that savings right away, Greenberg concluded.