In a note to clients published Sunday, the chief economist of Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs predicted the Federal Reserve would raise its benchmark rate four times in 2022. That’s one more time than the bank had previously projected, and one more than what the Fed itself predicted last month. Previously, rate hikes were expected in March, June and September. Now, Goldman Sachs is saying another one will happen in December.
“Even with four hikes, our path for the funds rate is only modestly above market pricing for 2022, but the gap grows significantly in subsequent years,” Jan Hatzius wrote in the note.
Goldman Sachs now joins J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank, who have both said they expect quarterly rate hikes this year. Those predictions came following last week’s release of the December jobs report.
“We believe Fed officials are coming to the same conclusion that the labor market is very tight, making it a tough sell to hold off on the first hike until June, our prior call,” J.P. Morgan’s U.S. chief economist Michael Feroli wrote in a note published Friday. On Monday, J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon told CNBC, “I’d personally be surprised if it was just four,” according to a tweet from “The Exchange” host Kelly Evans.
The Fed’s benchmark rate for banks has been near zero for nearly two years due to the pandemic. However, skyrocketing inflation and unemployment below 4% is putting pressure on the Fed to raise rates.
Once those rates start going up for banks, they will start raising rates on their consumer loans. That means mortgages, car loans and business loans are expected to become more expensive, leading to fewer consumers seeking those loans. This can often lead to Wall Street sell-offs.
The stock market may already be feeling the effects of the speculated increase in quantity and speed of the Federal Reserve’s benchmark rate hikes. Stocks fell broadly in afternoon trading on Wall Street Monday, and bond yields continued rising.
Technology stocks again led the broader market lower, with Microsoft falling 2.3% and Apple falling 2.1%. Higher interest rates make the stocks of expensive tech companies and other pricey growth companies less attractive to investors, which is why the sector has been slipping in recent weeks.