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Fed to pivot on inflation fears in the face of another uncertain year

Fed Chair Jerome Powell has already flagged the rate-setting committee will likely announce at its policy meeting this week that it will accelerate the end of its bond-buying program, wrapping it up by March instead of June, in order to clear the way for the Fed to lift off interest rates from near zero, where they have been held since March 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic triggered a short but deep recession. It will lead to policymakers’ bringing forward their projections for interest rate rises, in their so-called “dot plot,” as part of their forecasts, released quarterly, for economic growth, employment and inflation as well as the timing of interest rate rises. “The Fed needs to be a bit more aggressive with removing accommodation than they have been,” said Tim Duy, chief U.S. economist at SGH Macro Advisors, who expects officials to revise their median forecast to two rate hikes next year to rein in inflation levels, from a split at their last meeting on if they even needed one.

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