At the end of last year, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced raising benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points, the first rate hike since 2006, marking the end of an era of extraordinary easing monetary policies.
An U.S. analyst predicts the Fed will increase interest rates three to four times this year.
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH) JING SIMA, US Conference Board
“I think our baseline scenario is that there will be three to four hikes in 2016. Each hike will be very gradual, meaning 25 basis points. So by the end of 2016, our baseline scenario is that the short-term interest rate is going to be 1%. But that’s really based on labor market conditions, domestic economic conditions, domestic demand, and also, the Fed will be very sensitive to global economic conditions as well, especially financial markets.”