Ever since Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen made it clear roughly a year ago that the Fed would stick with its tapering schedule and not be swayed by relatively minor noise in the market, the attention Fed watchers turned to when the Fed would actually begin to tighten rates.
Despite a lot of speculation the Fed and Yellen have provided strong guidance. Initially she surprised analysts who saw her as a dove by announcing that rate increases could come as soon as six months after the end of tapering. While this caused a minor uproar it did not vary too far from market expectation of mid-2015 to end of Q3 2015.
The Fed announced the completion of tapering at its Oct. 28-29, 2014 meeting. Six months from that would correspond with its meeting ending April 29, 2015. That sounds about right given recent strong economic news. Yellen indicated it would not happen at the first two Fed meeting of 2015 making the April meeting the first possibility. Looking at the schedule, a press conference is planned for the meeting ending June 17. That appears to us to be the most likely target for Yellen to announce an increase in the Fed funds rate and match the markets assumption of a mid-year increase.
We asked our experts the following question: What meeting do you believe the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at—and by how much? (schedule below)