After January’s lackluster jobs report, the probability of three hikes from the Federal Reserve in 2017 declined to 24 percent but after Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen testified before congressional Banking committee the odds have climbed above 35 percent. In December, the policymakers at the Federal Reserve forecasted three rate hikes of 25 basis points each this year. However, the financial market participants have remained skeptical on that just like they had been in the past two years.
Despite the Fed’s forecast, the odds for three rate hikes from fed has remained strictly below 40 percent the entire time. But the recent comments from several FOMC policymakers suggest that this year the Fed might actually follow through its promises. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said last night that it would be unwise to delay rate hikes.
As usual, the Federal Reserve’s FOMC board remains quite divided over the hike issue, but we can say with confidence that the number hawks this year is far larger compared to previous years. There are five members on the FOMC board including Chair Janet Yellen who can be tagged as hawks, compared to just three dovish members.
The dollar index is upbeat after comments from Chair Yellen.