Rare Glimpse Inside Fed Shows Staff Expects Funds Rate To Reach 0.35% In The Fourth Quarter

By Greg RobbMarketWatch Pulse

In a rare glimpse inside the Federal Reserve, the staff of the central bank told officials six weeks ago that they expect the key federal funds rate to reach 0.35% at the end of the year, signaling that officials will only raise rates once in 2015, according to documents released Friday. The disclosure came in staff forecasts inadvertently released on the central bank's website late last month. Usually, Fed staff projections for interest rates are kept confidential for five years. Once the leak was discovered, the Fed said it decided to publicly release the material. According to the projections, Fed staff saw the funds rate rising to 0.35% by the end of 2015, compared with the current range of zero to 0.25%. Staff also expected to see rates rise gradually to 1.26% by the end of 2016 and 2.12% by the end of 2017 before hitting 3.34% by end of 2020. The Fed staff projected no sharp move in 10-year Treasury bond rates as the Fed tightened policy. Instead, bond rates would reach 2.63% in the fourth quarter of this year, 3.14% by the end of 2016 and 4.20% by the end of 2020, according to the projections.

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