Live Q&A: Ask us at noon about the road ahead for the economy and the Federal Reserve after its interest-rate hike

MarketWatch readers: Have a question about the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates for the first time in four years? Ask MarketWatch’s economics editor, Greg Robb, during a live, dynamic session today from noon to 1 p.m. Eastern time.

On Wednesday, the central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point and laid out plans for a more aggressive strategy of “ongoing increases” in the months ahead to combat high inflation.

This looks like a small change but it suggests big things are afoot.

“Whether that proves to be the case with the series of rate fed funds rate hikes that began Wednesday remains to be seen. About the only think we can be sure of at this point is that it unlikely to play out how we think today it will play out,” said Richard Moody, chief economist at Regions Financial Corp.

Analysts said the Fed laid out aggressive projections for interest rates. This was welcomed by many economists who had been concerned the Fed was behind the curve, but also raising immediate concern about a possible recession from other analysts.

Some economists think the labor market is healthy and the central bank should not think there is a danger from that strength.

Stocks
DJIA,
-0.58%

SPX,
-0.04%

were trading higher in the wake of the Fed decision.

Analysts at UniCredit said the bond market reaction to the Fed’s plans “was not particularly impressive” and perhaps a sign that investors were already pricing in an aggressive Fed.

The Fed didn’t give details about how it will run down the balance sheet. There could be details in the upcoming minutes of the meeting, to be released on April 6. Powell said the plan could be announced in May, but many economists think June might be a better bet.

Now read: Fed’s Powell sees the light — and turns far more hawkish than expected

Leave a Comment