The Federal Reserve has raised the federal funds rate 25 bps, to a target range of 1.25% to 1.50%. This was the Fed’s fourth 25-bps increase since December 2016 and was widely anticipated given the economy’s recent near-3% quarterly growth, robust job growth, record-low unemployment, modest wage gains and rising consumer and producer prices.
At its latest meeting, the Fed kept the federal funds rate at 1.0%-1.25%. An increase is expected in December, with economic conditions generally good. Commercial real estate fundamentals remain strong, and a Q4 rebound in economic growth should keep them healthy at least through H1 2018.
Most FOMC members agree that rates will need to head higher in the next few years, but how quickly is a source of great debate. Don't be surprised to see even greater indecision as uncertainty rises later in the cycle.
With the new administration at the reins and macroeconomic indicators sending mixed signals, investors are wondering what the future promises for the direction of the U.S. economy commercial real estate. This seems to be certain in investors’ minds: interest rates are likely to increase—at least in the medium term, if not in the long run. What would such increases imply for CRE, and particularly for CRE values?
There's no reason for the Fed to be vocal at this point, and 2017's first FOMC meeting saw no policy changes made. The Fed is keenly aware of the heightened degree of fiscal uncertainty and clearly has not bought into the notion—already accepted by many economic forecasters—that fiscal stimulus will launch the economy into higher gear. EA's baseline outlook remains tempered as well, at least until we see where the new administration is heading.