While America grapples with who to vote for in November’s Presidential election, analysts at Goldman Sachs are certain about one thing: the Fed will likely not raise interest rates before votes are casts.
In an email to clients this morning, Alec Phillips, U.S. Political Economist in Global Investment Research at Goldman Sachs, offered a review of monetary actions by the Federal Reserve ahead of important elections.
The Federal Open Market Committee still holds three meetings left this year to determine if it should raise the benchmark interest rate; which in turn would raise mortgage rates.
After crunching the numbers, Phillips surmises the odds of a rates increase in the September FOMC meeting is 40% and a hike at the December meeting at 30%. While he did not give a percentage for the remaining meeting, in November, his calculations determined a similar low risk.
Phillips makes two observations in backing up his call.
“First, the FOMC appears to avoid surprises ahead of elections a bit more than it does at other times…. Second, while the FOMC appears to have a greater aversion to surprise hikes than surprise cuts in general, this pattern appears even stronger in presidential election years.”