Fed Seen Aggressively Hiking to 5%, Triggering Global Recession

Federal Reserve officials will maintain their resolutely hawkish stance next week, laying the groundwork for interest rates reaching 5% by March 2023, moves that seem likely to lead to a US and global recession, economists surveyed by Bloomberg said.

The Federal Open Market Committee will raise rates by 75 basis points for a fourth consecutive meeting when policymakers announce their decision at 2 p.m. in Washington Wednesday, the survey found.

Officials got further reason to stay the course when US government data on Friday showed employment costs rising at a firm pace in the third quarter and the central bank’s preferred inflation gauge still well above its 2% goal.

Rates are projected in the survey to rise another half point in December, then by quarter points the following two meetings. Fed forecasts released at the September meeting showed rates reaching 4.4% this year and 4.6% next year, before cuts in 2024.

Economists see the Fed as determined not to pivot too soon as it fights against an inflation rate at a 40-year high. The shift to a higher peak rate would reflect consumer-price growth, excluding food and energy, that came in hotter than expected for the past two months. The survey of 40 economists was conducted Oct. 21-26.