Markets and economy brace as the Fed’s first hike could come in two months


The Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve building in Washington.

Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

If everything goes according to plan, the Federal Reserve in a little over two months will enact its first rate increase in three years, a move policymakers deem necessary and that markets and the economy are grudgingly coming to accept.

The Fed last raised rates in late 2018, part of a “normalization” process that happened in the waning period of the longest-lasting economic expansion in U.S. history.

Just seven months later, the central bank retreated as the expansion looked increasingly fragile. Eight months after that initial cut in July 2019, the Fed was forced to roll back its


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