Members of the National Association for Business Economics expect the Federal Reserve to leave the federal funds rate near zero throughout the remainder of the year and expect it to still be below 2% at the end of next year, according to May survey results released by the group Monday.
Economists were divided over how the Fed will tighten monetary policy, with some expecting it to rely more on rate hikes and others more on balance sheet reduction.
The 41 professional forecasters surveyed raised their inflation forecast even while lowering their growth forecast, but saw the rise in inflation as “temporary.”
Richard Wobbekind, NABE president and associate dean at the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado, said: “Real [gross domestic product] is expected to grow at a moderate pace of roughly 3% in the current year and only slightly faster in 2012.”
“Factors supporting growth going forward include pent-up business and consumer demand, accommodative monetary policy, and growth in the rest of the world, especially Asia,” Wobbekind said. “The main factors restraining growth include high and rising commodity prices, uncertainty about future federal government economic policies, a tepid housing market, and financial headwinds.”
“Panelists remain highly concerned about federal deficits and debt, and are increasingly concerned about rising commodity prices and inflation,” he added.
Questions on monetary policy yielded expectations of a continued lengthy period of monetary accommodation, but with the Fed moving toward the exit sometime next year.