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Fed’s Bullard: Low rates will likely be the norm for the next two to three years

bullard

Low interest rates will likely be the norm during the next two to three years, James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, said in prepared remarks on Monday.

The U.S. is in a low-productivity growth regime, which is pressuring real safe rates of return, he said.

With real safe rates of return exceptionally low and not expected to rise soon, interest rates should be expected to stay exceptionally low during the forecast horizon, he said.

Bullard’s comments come one month after he voted against hiking the federal funds rate. The Fed continues to grapple with deciding when it will increase rates from the current target range of 0.25 to 0.50 percent. The last time the Fed raised rates was in December 2015, when it did so for the first time in nine years.

Fed watchers expect the next increase to come by year end. Fed fund futures show implied odds of nearly 70 percent for a December rate hike, according to the CME Group FedWatch website.