Fed Will Decide Next Rate Move After Bank Jitters

“They don’t need to rule anything out,” said Blerina Uruci, chief U.S. economist at T. Rowe Price. “The worst scenario for them would be to signal that they’re done, then have the data force them to do a U-turn.”

Investors expect Fed officials to stop after this week, hold rates steady for a few months and then begin to lower them — perhaps substantially, to a range of 4.5 to 4.75 percent by the end of the year.

Fed policymakers, however, have been adamant that they do not expect to lower rates imminently. And some have hinted that more increases might be warranted if inflation and economic strength show staying power.

“Monetary policy needs to be tightened further,” Christopher Waller, a Fed governor and one of the central bank’s more inflation-focused members, said in an April 14 speech. “How much further will depend on incoming data on inflation, the real economy and the extent of tightening credit conditions.”

Fed officials have been clear that the upheaval in the banking system could slow the economy — but policymakers do not know by how much.

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