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Thursday, September 23, 2021, 1:16 AM

The Federal Reserve is divided on raising interest rates.

Following the completion of its regularly scheduled two-day meeting, the Federal Reserve (Fed) maintained its accommodating monetary policies of low interest rates and asset purchases, but lay the foundation for the gradual withdrawal of monetary policy stimulus.

Policymakers have also raised their estimates for the timing and speed of rate increases, but views among voting members cover a broad range of possible outcomes, according to the survey. Half of the Fed's members predict a first rate increase in 2022, with the median estimate being in 2023, which is a year earlier than the expectations of the interest rate markets before to the meeting. Our optimistic view for diverse portfolios remains unchanged as a result of the progress made in the economic recovery and the strength of business fundamentals. The effect of the Coronavirus on the rate of economic and earnings growth, an inflationary tendency that may prove to be permanent rather than transitory, and changes in tax and spending policies all pose threats to our outlook.

Small- and mid-sized domestic equities, as well as developing markets and economically sensitive industries such as energy and financial services, were the driving forces behind the rise in risky asset values. The S&P 500 Index, which measures the performance of bigger U. S. corporations, increased as well, but it remains 3 percent behind all-time highs reached earlier this month. Interest rates on Treasury debt that has a maturity of less than ten years have risen somewhat in anticipation of a little quicker pace of rate increases in the future years. Longer-term bond rates have dipped a smidgeon. The yield on a 10-year Treasury note is now 1. 32 percent, up from 0. 92 percent at the start of the year but down from the 2021 high of almost 1. 76 percent in March, according to Bloomberg.

Slowing asset purchases towards the end of the year would enable the Federal Reserve to maintain the option of raising its target federal funds rate in mid- to late-2022 if economic circumstances justify it, but a rise in 2023 is also a realistic possibility, according to the Fed. Members of the Federal Open Market Committee have significantly varying forecasts for rate hikes, with members divided on whether a rate increase would be appropriate in 2022. Members' estimates for the federal funds rate by the end of the fiscal year 2023 vary from 0. 25 percent to 1. 75 percent, reflecting the uncertain nature of the economic recovery. The rate at which policy normalization takes place will be determined by the development of growth, inflation, and unemployment. The committee's economic forecasts indicate that median growth expectations for 2021 have been reduced, but that they have been somewhat upgraded for 2022, in contrast to a rise in inflation expectations for both 2021 and 2022.

With respect to the long-term possibilities for diverse portfolios, our investment view continues to be "glass half-filled. " In the short term, rising profits, continuing reopening progress, and accommodating central banks all contribute to our optimism. Despite recent events, we continue to encourage investors to maintain a multi-year and multi-cycle perspective, keeping two key investment horizons in mind: first, the current reopening activity around the world, as well as countries' variable speeds and glidepaths as they emerge; and second, the steady state that follows, as well as whether or not sustainable growth will be maintained throughout that second horizon.