Fed rate hike now not expected until May

Investors are pushing back the timeline for when they expect the Federal Reserve to begin cutting interest rates after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell addressed speculation of a coming pivot.

The Federal Reserve held its first meeting of 2024 this week and opted once again to hold its interest rate target steady at 5.25% to 5.50%. Ahead of the meeting, most investors were predicting that the Fed would start cutting rates at its next meeting in March, but now, it appears more likely that will happen in May.

The central bank’s inflation goal is 2%, and annual price growth is still clocking in above 3%. In the Fed’s policy statement released on Wednesday, Fed officials indicated that they don’t expect to reduce the target rate until they have gained further confidence that inflation is moving toward that goal.

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