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Powell Seen Slowing Rate Hikes After May and June Front-Loading

  • Economists forecast two half-point moves, then smaller steps
  • No appetite for a 75 basis-point rate increase, survey shows
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Powell: Half-Point Fed Rate Hike on the Table for May

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is likely to slow the pace of interest-rate increases after front-loading policy with half-point hikes next week and in June, economists surveyed by Bloomberg say.

They expect the Federal Open Market Committee to raise its benchmark rate by 50 basis points at the May 3-4 meeting and do so again in June -- the first hikes of that size since 2000 -- then downshift to a series of quarter-point moves during the second half of the year. The U.S. central bank will also start to shrink its $9 trillion balance sheet in May.