top of page
  • digitozone

Can the Interest Rate be Expected to Increase Again in May?

The impending conclusion of a Federal Reserve meeting on May 3rd has left many wondering whether there will be yet another interest rate increase. The question on everyone's mind is what effect this will have on the markets.

Since the beginning of 2022, the Federal Reserve has implemented nine consecutive interest rate increases. However, as the board prepares to meet on May 2-3, it remains unclear whether they will announce a tenth increase or not.

Over the past two years, interest rate hikes have been almost guaranteed, with the only question being the extent of the increase. However, in light of slowing inflation and the recent failure of Silicon Valley Bank, some investors are beginning to question whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at all.

Given the current economic climate, the decision of the Federal Reserve regarding interest rates is a matter of great interest to investors and businesses alike. Some believe that the current inflation rates are not high enough to justify another rate increase, while others argue that the recent banking failure indicates a need for stricter monetary policy.

Whatever the decision may be, it is clear that the Federal Reserve is facing a delicate balancing act between supporting economic growth and maintaining stability. Investors will be eagerly awaiting the outcome of the upcoming board meeting to gain insight into the future direction of the economy.

What is the Reason Behind the Federal Reserve's Decision to Raise Interest Rates?

In an effort to combat excessive inflation, the Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has reiterated the board's commitment to bringing inflation back down to their 2% target rate.

Recent readings of the consumer price index, which is a key measure of inflation, indicate a year-over-year inflation rate of 5% as of March 2023. While this is lower than the peak rate of 9.1% seen in June 2022, it still exceeds the Fed's target rate by more than double.

Most economists and financial experts agree that raising interest rates can help slow down inflation, although they may have varying opinions on the reasons behind it. As explained by Ramon DeGennaro, a finance professor at the University of Tennessee, interest rate increases can make borrowing and spending money more expensive, thus discouraging people and businesses from doing so.

Furthermore, higher interest rates on savings accounts and bonds can encourage people to save rather than spend, further reducing the demand for goods and services. This helps to keep inflation, which can be thought of as price growth, under control.

While interest rate increases may have some negative impacts on spending, they are viewed as a necessary tool for the Federal Reserve to manage inflation and maintain a stable economy. Investors and businesses will be keeping a close eye on the Fed's decisions and announcements in the coming months to gauge the direction of interest rates and their potential impact on the economy.

What are the Chances of a Further Interest Rate Increase?

According to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange's FedWatch tool, which uses futures market data to predict interest rate change scenarios, there is a 79.1% chance that the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates by 0.25%, while there is a 20.9% chance that rates will remain unchanged, as of April 28.

Ramon DeGennaro, a finance professor at the University of Tennessee, stated that he believes there will be a small interest rate increase. He estimates the likelihood of a quarter-point increase to be between 80% and 90%. If the Fed chooses not to increase rates, they will maintain the current levels.

Investors and businesses alike will be closely monitoring the outcome of the Federal Reserve's upcoming meeting to gauge the future direction of interest rates and its potential impact on the economy. The Fed's decision will be a crucial factor in shaping economic growth and stability in the months to come.

What Impact Would Another Interest Rate Increase Have on the Markets?

Although in theory, higher interest rates increase the cost of corporate borrowing and can have a negative impact on the stock market, the market's reaction to an interest rate increase is often more nuanced than that.

Traders frequently attempt to anticipate the impact of interest rate changes, and they make trades based on those predictions in the days leading up to interest rate decisions. As a result, the market collectively "prices in" the expected interest rate changes ahead of time.

In the case of the upcoming May Fed meeting, the market is anticipating a 0.25% increase. In the week leading up to the meeting, the S&P 500 index rose by 0.91%, largely due to this expectation.

The market's reaction to an interest rate decision usually depends on whether the decision matches what was expected or not. If the decision is in line with market expectations, the market typically doesn't react much. However, if the decision is different from what was anticipated, the market tends to have a bigger response. A larger-than-expected increase in interest rates can trigger a sell-off, while a smaller-than-expected increase may cause a rally. It's worth noting that market reactions can vary based on a range of factors, including economic conditions, geopolitical events, and investor sentiment.

Ramon DeGennaro, a finance professor at the University of Tennessee, expects the market's response to a quarter-point increase to be subdued. Nonetheless, the market will be closely watching the Fed's decision and any ensuing market activity in the coming weeks.

What is the Future Direction of Interest Rates?

According to financial experts, the stock market is anticipating one more small increase in interest rates, followed by a gradual decrease over the next year. This sentiment was echoed by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell during a news conference after the March 22 Fed meeting.

Powell stated that if the economy progresses as predicted, the median Federal Open Market Committee participant foresees the federal funds rate to be 5.1% by the end of this year, 4.3% by the end of 2024, and 3.1% by the end of 2025. As interest rates shift from a rising to a falling trend, some sectors of the stock market, such as consumer discretionary, technology, and utilities, may outperform others that typically do better when rates are high.

However, the exact timing of when interest rates will begin to fall is currently uncertain. Investors are now awaiting the May 3 announcement to determine whether the final increase of this cycle is approaching, or whether it has already occurred.

5 views0 comments
bottom of page