Saturday, May 6, 2017

Where Will Interest Rates Go in 2017-2018?

Colin Robertson serves as managing director of fixed income investments for Chicago’s Northern Trust Asset Management. The banking executive’s major responsibility is overseeing the department handling bonds and other fixed-income instruments. Also in close contact with his Chicago clients and internal partners, Colin Robertson continues to keep a close eye on economic forecasts.

One Forbes commentator projected the future of interest rates for 2017-2018. He predicts no rate hikes in 2017, doubting the Federal Reserve’s prediction of two more increases before the end of the year. 

The observer maintains that the Fed is inaccurately predicting the pace of continued economic expansion. He notes that discretionary spending by business is still down. Reflecting this shortfall are problems in hiring, new building construction, and buying more equipment and IT systems. These weak performances mirror uncertainty about the economy. 

Foreign and economic policy remain unclear, affecting export-import activity and the transport and warehousing sectors. Still-evolving immigration rules may impact construction, agriculture, and the hospitality industry.

Doctors and physicians have also expressed concern for the national healthcare system, and changes in governmental policies are likely to influence the banking industry, education, and utilities to an unknown degree. 

However, next year economic uncertainty should ease, leading to a more robust strengthening. 2018 should bring about more rate increases from the Fed.