Fed to hold rates in April but raise again in June: Reuters poll
By Rahul Karunakar
(Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve will keep interest rates steady at its policy meeting next week but economists held firm to their expectations for a rate hike in June and then another by the end of this year, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.
At its last policy meeting in March, the Fed acknowledged global risks to the U.S economy in justifying a pause and suggested about two more rate hikes are in store this year, only half of what they originally thought in December.
The latest Reuters poll taken this week of more than 80 economists, including almost all of the Wall Street primary dealers, remains roughly in line with that thinking.
Fifty of 80, about two-thirds of the sample, expect the Fed to raise its target federal funds range next in June, to 0.50-0.75 percent. Another 20 percent said September, with the remainder saying either July or December.
One economist said the Fed's next move will be a 25 basis point cut back to 0.00-0.25 percent at year-end and two said rates will remain on hold for the remainder of the year.
No one expected a rate rise at the conclusion of the Federal Open Market Committee's April 26-27 meeting.
Of those who expect rates to rise a second time this year, nearly three-quarters thought the follow-up would be in the fourth quarter, bringing the funds rate to 0.75-1.00 percent.