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Investor Optimism Fades as Fed Rate Cut Expectations Decrease

Investors Bullish on Fed’s Soft Landing, Expectations for Interest Rate Cuts Decrease

Investors Bullish on Fed’s Soft Landing, Expectations for Interest Rate Cuts Decrease

Late last year, investors were optimistic about the Federal Reserve’s plans to cut interest rates in 2024. However, new inflation data and cautious comments from Fed officials have prompted the market to adjust its expectations.

Decrease in Interest Rate Cut Expectations

According to Bloomberg data, the market is currently pricing in three interest rate cuts for 2024, aligning with the Fed’s most recent forecast. This is a decrease from the former consensus of six cuts projected in December.

Goldman Sachs, a prominent financial institution, has also revised its projections. The firm now expects four interest rate cuts this year, down from its previous forecast of five, with the first cut predicted for June.

Comments from Fed Officials

Goldman Sachs’ revised forecast is supported by comments from Fed officials and the minutes from the January FOMC meeting. Fed Governor Christopher Waller stated that additional inflation data is required to determine whether January’s hotter-than-expected Consumer Price Index report was just a “speed bump” or a more significant issue.

The minutes from the January meeting revealed that most officials were concerned about the risks of “moving too quickly” when it comes to lowering interest rates, indicating that the Fed is generally confident in the country’s economic stability.

Implications of Current Market Consensus

Economists and market observers have noted two primary takeaways from recent developments. Firstly, the central bank’s confidence in the economy’s stability implies that high interest rates can be sustained without causing a recession. Secondly, the expectation that rate cuts may come at a later stage, once more economic data becomes available, suggests that the Fed views the January data as inconclusive.

EY chief economist Gregory Daco believes that the new market consensus is justified given the initial aggressive pricing that followed the December Fed meeting. However, he cautions against over-analyzing the January economic data, attributing the mixed signals to various factors.

The Market’s Response and Analyst Insights

Deutsche Bank chief US economist Matthew Luzzetti commends the market’s resilience, as stocks continue to hold their value and volatility remains low despite adjustments in rate cut expectations. Luzzetti emphasizes that the current consensus aligns with the Fed’s cautious approach, as it aims to avoid a premature rate cut.


While the market now expects fewer interest rate cuts in 2024, it remains cautious and responsive to incoming economic data. The Fed’s confidence in the economy’s stability, along with its patient and data-driven approach, will likely shape the timing and number of rate cuts in the future.

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