The Fed will ultimately push the US into recession, strategist says

Finance news

The Federal Reserve will push the United States economy into recession if it follows on its current interest rate path, according to Rabobank.

A summary of the Sept. 25-26 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) session was released Wednesday which pointed to a continued willingness by the U.S. central bank to gradually increase interest rates.

The Fed’s indication that it will continue raising rates comes in the face of ongoing criticism from President Donald Trump. Earlier this month, Trump said the Fed is going “loco,” openly criticized Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, and asserted that higher rates are the single biggest threat to the economic recovery.

Lyn Graham-Taylor, senior fixed income strategist at Rabobank, told CNBC’s “Street Signs” on Thursday that Trump may have a point.

“We think the Fed will ultimately push the U.S. into recession by following this path,” the analyst said.

The federal funds rate, which helps to dictate borrowing costs across the U.S. economy, was raised to sit between 2 and 2.25 percent on September 26, 2018. Policymakers see one more rate hike this year, 3 increases in 2019 and 1 in 2020.

Graham-Taylor said he expected a U.S. recession within the “next couple of years” and that researchers at his bank were taking cues from a flattening of the yield curve.

A flat yield curve occurs when the yield (return) on longer dated debt reduces to levels nearer that of shorter-dated bonds. It can be indicative of a lack of confidence in the medium to long-term of an economy.

In recent weeks, the yield curve has actually steepened but Graham-Taylor said, in this instance that was related to uncertainty, rather than investor confidence in the future.

The analyst said the Fed would probably “overhike” with just two more rate rises and that would be enough to trigger an economic downturn.