Federal Reserve is likely to preach patience as consumers and markets look ahead to rate cuts

Credit: photos by ©Sharon Farmer/sfphot

Across the United States, many people are eagerly anticipating the Federal Reserve’s first cut to its benchmark interest rate this year: Prospective home buyers hope for lower mortgage rates. Wall Street traders envision higher stock prices. Consumers are looking for a break on credit card debt at record-high interest rates.

Not to mention President Joe Biden, whose re-election campaign would likely benefit from an economic jolt stemming from lower borrowing rates.

Yet Chair Jerome Powell and his fellow Fed officials are expected to play it safe when they meet his week, keeping their rate unchanged for a fifth straight time and signaling that they still need further evidence that inflation is returning sustainably to their 2% target.