Which is fair enough, really. The worst bout of inflation to hit the U.S. economy in 40 years peaked more than a year ago, and yet the Federal Reserve has yet to conclusively abandon the most aggressive campaign of interest rate hikes since the late Carter and early Reagan administrations.
The central bank's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) made the widely expected move of leaving interest rates unchanged when it concluded its last policy meeting in December. If there was any sort of surprise, it was that the Fed appears to have at long last embraced a series of interest rate cuts in 2024.
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Although economists as a group have become more optimistic about the path of the economy, surveys show they still put the odds of a recession hitting in the next 12 months at about 50%. They have good reasons to remain cautious. The bond market is awash in inverted yield curves, for one thing, and that's not very reassuring at all. The New York Fed's gives a 63% probability to the U.S. entering a recession over the next 12 months.
Then there's the labor market, which remains stronger than the Fed would probably like. A hot December jobs report revealing a pick up in wage-growth pressures didn't exactly make the case for lower rates.When you consider the Fed's dual mandate of promoting both "maximum" employment and stable prices against the backdrop of financial sector stress and rising recession odds, no wonder investors are obsessed with the question of "when is the next Fed meeting?"
The next Fed meeting: what to expectFor the record, the central bank's rate-setting committee is called the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).As you can see from the below, the committee meets eight times a year. These meetings last two days, and conclude with the FOMC releasing its policy decision at 2 pm Eastern time. The Fed chief then holds a press conference at 2:30 pm. (Pro tip: as closely scrutinized as the Fed statement might be, market participants are usually even more keen on what the Fed chair has to say in the press conference.)
As for the next Fed meeting, it begins on January 30 and will end with a policy statement on January 31 at 2 pm Eastern.The FOMC has the fed funds rate sitting at 22-year high. For now, at least, the market thinks the Fed is set to hit the pause button once again. Indeed, as of January 25, interest rate traders assigned a 97% probability to the FOMC leaving the short-term federal funds rate unchanged at a target range of 5.25% to 5.50%, according to .As for when the Fed will enact its first quarter-point rate cut, traders say there's a 46% chance it comes in March, while 52% bet it won't happen until May. For those wondering "when is the next Fed meeting?," have a look at the schedule, courtesy of the FOMC, below.
2024 Fed meetings calendar
- January 30 to 31
- March 19 to 20
- April 30 to May 1
- June 11 to 12
- July 30 to 31
- September 17 to 18
- November 6 to 7
- December 17 to 18
A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.
Once upon a time – before his days as a financial reporter and assistant financial editor at legendary fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily – Dan worked for Spy magazine, scribbled away at Time Inc. and contributed to Maxim magazine back when lad mags were a thing. He's also written for Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievements Awards.
In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics, demographics, real estate, cost of living indexes and more.
Dan holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Columbia University.
Disclosure: Dan does not trade stocks or other securities. Rather, he dollar-cost averages into cheap funds and index funds and holds them forever in tax-advantaged accounts.
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