The Federal Reserve raised the key interest rate by 25 basis points as expected, but the outlook was less hawkish than market participants had thought.
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer told CNBC that he sees the central bank raising rates two more times this year.
Two rate hikes, seems to be “about right,” Fischer said in an exclusive interview on “Power Lunch” on Tuesday. He said the Fed’s current outlook hasn’t changed very much.
In its March meeting, the Fed said it still expects its federal funds rate to be about 1.4 percent at end of 2017. Traders tracked by the CME Group also seem to be pricing in two more rate hikes for the current year.
He also said that the Fed is watching the Donald Trump administration very closely, as “they’ll certainly have an impact on what happens in the economy.” The White House’s economic footprint will “have an impact on our future actions,” Fischer said.
Fischer said the yanked Republican health-care bill may have changed his “internal calculus,” but added that it hasn’t actually changed what the Fed does very much.
“Some bills, when they’re presented, have some impact on the economy immediately. I think that was the case with just the early days of the administration and so the stock market goes up and so forth. So, you take those effects into account,” he said.
While much of the Trump administration’s policies haven’t been implemented yet, the expectations are being priced into the market.
Fischer said, however, “you don’t have to put a huge weight on something that you don’t really know is going to happen. So, we take it into account somewhat.”
He also said he has considered extending his term as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve. He said, however, that he hasn’t made a decision and that it’s not something he feels the need to think about very strongly at the moment.
Watch: Fischer on rate of investment