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Where Is The Fed Heading With Rates? Pause in 2019 Likely.

So where exactly is the Fed heading with interest rates? Conventional wisdom, before the stock market volatility of the past few weeks had dictated a December increase and 2-3 increases (all of a 1/4 point) in 2019. Fed guidance has indicated that a December rise is likely to 2.5% as well as a slow and steady trend to 3.0% in 2019 and 3.5% in 2020. Although my advice would have seemed more sage if I had written this a few weeks ago, I think there is significant reason to doubt that we are on such a steady trajectory. Whispers of a recession are growing slowly and louder. Sometimes this fear becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. There are significant risk factors moving forward. Stock market volatility, which we have seen plenty of recently, makes people nervous and more conservative with their money. We have also seen significant volatility in the White House where the current administration's policy could flip on a whim, and flip back as quickly. Our trade situation is in flux.

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