Prime Rate

also known as the Fed, National or United States Prime Rate,
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Saturday, April 02, 2016

Odds At 5% (Very Unlikely) The U.S. Prime Rate Will Rise At The April 27, 2016 FOMC Monetary Policy Meeting

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As of right now, the investors who trade in fed fund futures via the CME Group have odds at 5% (as implied by current pricing on contracts) that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will vote to raise the target range for the benchmark fed funds rate by at least 25 basis points (0.25 percentage point) at the April 27TH, 2016 monetary policy meeting (very unlikely.)

The current United States Prime Rate, which went into effect on December 17, 2015, is 3.5%.

NB: U.S. Prime Rate = (The Fed Funds Target Rate + 3)

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The latest odds were influenced by recent economic data, including readings on inflationjobs, wages, GDPcrude oil, manufacturinghousing, consumer confidence, consumer sentiment, and a recent speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen.  Here's a clip:

"...Looking beyond the near term, I anticipate that growth will also be supported by a lessening of some of the headwinds that continue to restrain the U.S. economy, which include weak foreign activity, dollar appreciation, a pace of household formation that has not kept up with population and income growth and so has depressed homebuilding, and productivity growth that has been running at a slow pace by historical standards since the end of the recession. If these headwinds gradually fade as I expect, the neutral federal funds rate will also rise, in which case it will, all else equal, be appropriate to gradually increase the federal funds rate more or less in tandem to achieve our dual objectives. Otherwise, monetary policy would eventually become overly accommodative as the economy strengthened.

Implicitly, this expectation of fading headwinds and a rising neutral rate is a key reason for the FOMC's assessment that gradual increases in the federal funds rate over time will likely be appropriate. That said, this assessment is only a forecast. The future path of the federal funds rate is necessarily uncertain because economic activity and inflation will likely evolve in unexpected ways. For example, no one can be certain about the pace at which economic headwinds will fade. More generally, the economy will inevitably be buffeted by shocks that cannot be foreseen. What is certain, however, is that the Committee will respond to changes in the outlook as needed to achieve its dual mandate..."
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Current Odds


  • Current odds that the Prime Rate (currently 3.5%) will rise by at least 25 basis points at the April 27TH, 2016 FOMC monetary policy meeting: 5% (very unlikely.)

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  • Current odds that the Prime Rate (currently 3.5%) will rise by at least 25 basis points at the June 15TH, 2016 FOMC monetary policy meeting: 26% (not likely.)

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  • Current odds that the Prime Rate (currently 3.5%) will rise by at least 25 basis points at the July 27TH, 2016 FOMC monetary policy meeting: 40% (not likely.)

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  • Current odds that the Prime Rate (currently 3.5%) will rise by at least 25 basis points at the September 21ST, 2016 FOMC monetary policy meeting: 51% (on the fence.)

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  • Current odds that the Prime Rate (currently 3.5%) will rise by at least 25 basis points at the November  2ND, 2016 FOMC monetary policy meeting: 55% (on the fence.)

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  • Current odds that the Prime Rate (currently 3.5%) will rise by at least 25 basis points at the December  14ND, 2016 FOMC monetary policy meeting: 66% (somewhat likely.)

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  • Current odds that the Prime Rate (currently 3.5%) will rise by at least 25 basis points at the February 1ST, 2017 FOMC monetary policy meeting: 68% (somewhat likely.)

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  • NB: US Prime Rate = (The Fed Funds Target Rate + 3)

The odds associated with fed fund futures contracts -- widely accepted as the best predictor of what the FOMC will do with the benchmark Fed Funds Target Rate -- are constantly changing, so stay tuned for the latest odds.

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