Interest rates have been a hot topic of conversation for the last few years and you may have heard that at the last Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting, they decided not to raise interest rates again. There is a lot of noise out there, so let’s break it down for you.
What’s happened so far?
Due to increasing inflation, the Fed started raising interest rates in 2022. In March of 2022, the federal funds target rate was .25-.5%. Since then, they’ve raised rates 11 times and current federal funds target rates are 5.25-5.5%. At their recent September meeting, they decided not to raise interest rates, which is good news.
The Fed is showing that they are bullish on our economy. A variety of indicators, including inflation’s downward trend and the labor market easing, suggest our economy is stronger. The Fed said there could be 1 more rate hike this year—we think this is unlikely. This isn’t a unanimous decision within the Fed either; 7 out of the 19 members don’t think there is a need for more rate hikes. Our focus is not so much if the Fed will continue increasing rates, but more on when they will start cutting rates. If they believe the economy is strong, they are less likely to cut rates quickly. Before, they said they anticipate cutting rates in early 2024, but they’ve changed their tune. We think rate cuts might start in the middle of next year, and we anticipate them slowly cutting from there. Originally, 4 cuts were planned for 2024, but we are now anticipating only 2 rate cuts next year.
What this means:
Overall, this is good news. The Fed thinks our economy is strong and they are bullish, as are we. High interest rates have been difficult for those people buying houses or taking out credit, so hopefully in the next few years rates will settle. If you aren’t taking out credit, you may be happy with the interest rate your high interest savings account is currently paying. And if you don’t have a high interest savings account for your cash, it’s a good time to open one as current rates are above 4%.
Continue the conversation:
We’d love for you to join us for this quarter’s Coffee Talk to continue this conversation. We will discuss in more depth interest rates and the economy. If you are local to the Boulder area, join us for an in-person Coffee Talk on October 24th, you can sign up HERE. If you aren’t local or can’t make our in-person Coffee Talk, join us virtually on October 26th by registering HERE.
We are here for you and your families and we want to hear from you if you are concerned. Serving our clients is our greatest honor.
Alana Macy, MBA, CFP®
The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed.
Federal Reserve Press Release. Federal Reserve. (September 20th, 2023). https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/files/monetary20230920a1.pdf