Markets gird for higher-for-longer rates: Moody’s

By Staff | September 25, 2023 | Last updated on October 3, 2023
2 min read
Interest rate dice

The latest rate decisions by the world’s central banks indicate they’re increasingly likely to remain on hold, and that markets should brace for rates to remain elevated for longer, says Moody’s Investors Service.

In a new report, the rating agency noted that, in the past week, central bankers in the U.S., the U.K. and Japan all stood pat at their latest rate decisions.

For the U.S. Federal Reserve Board, this meant keeping rates at a 22-year high, whereas the Bank of England finally ended 14 consecutive rate hikes in a narrow five-to-four vote.

Moody’s said the Fed’s latest economic projections indicate a majority of the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) members expect another rate hike before year-end. And the median projection now signals 50 basis points worth of rate cuts next year, down from previous expectations of 100 bps.

The Fed’s forecasts have “primed markets to the possibility of higher neutral rates and therefore higher-for-longer interest rates,” the report said.

“In our view, interest rates will remain high, and the Fed will not be in a hurry to cut rates out of an abundance of caution,” Moody’s noted.

In the U.K., the bank’s next moves will also be dictated by the trajectory for inflation, it said. The Bank of Japan left rates and its policy stance unchanged, too, citing “extremely high uncertainties surrounding economies and financial markets at home and abroad.”

In emerging markets, central bankers in South Africa and Indonesia left their rates unchanged, while Turkey’s central bank raised rates amid soaring inflation.

The Central Bank of Brazil was the outlier, cutting its key rate to 12.75% and signalling further cuts are likely at its November and December meetings.

“However, real rates remain high and monetary policy restrictive even after these cuts,” Moody’s said. staff


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