This could end up being a pretty boring year for the Fed.
Amid the continued flow of mediocre economic data, traders have taken a 2016 interest rate hike off the table, anticipating that the earliest the U.S. central bank might move would be February 2017.
That stands in stark contrast to Fed estimates. Federal Open Market Committee officials, in the summary of economic projections released after the December meeting, indicated that four hikes are likely by the end of the year.
However, Friday’s release indicating the economy grew just 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter, coupled with a fairly dovish statement after Wednesday’s FOMC meeting and Bank of Japan move to negative interest rates, have traders looking at a low chance for monetary tightening this year.
The chance for a March hike has dwindled to 8 percent, from 22 percent on Thursday, while December’s meeting has just a 46 percent likelihood of a move, according to the CME’s FedWatch tool.