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Federal Reserve Expected to Push Rates Past 5% in 2023, Survey Results Reveal

Stubborn inflation could force the Federal Reserve to lift interest rates even higher than the majority of officials are currently projecting, according to Bankrate’s latest survey of economists.

The Fed will likely take rates to a target range of 5.25-5.5 percent before they end their extraordinary rate hikes, Bankrate’s Fourth-Quarter Economic Indicator poll found. Economists’ average estimate for the U.S. central bank’s peak federal funds rate was 5.35 percent. That’s up from experts’ 4.71 percent average prediction in the third-quarter survey — and a quarter-point higher than the peak target range Fed officials themselves penciled in on their December projections.

The predictions also correspond with forecasts from Bankrate Chief Financial Analyst Greg McBride, CFA, who is penciling in a fed funds rate for the year at 5.25-5.5 percent.