WASHINGTON, June 13 (Xinhua) -- The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that more than three quarters of the economists polled by the newspaper expected the U.S. Federal Reserve to cut interest rates.
On the timing of the policy move, the survey showed that only two of the 46 economists anticipated it would happen in the Fed's next policy meeting scheduled for June 18-19. Nearly 40 percent of them expected the Fed to act in July, while roughly 30 percent foresaw a rate cut in September.
The federal funds rate has since December remained in a range between 2.25 percent and 2.5 percent, and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has stressed patience in adjusting the central bank's monetary policy during the past three policy meetings this year.
On average, the economists expected the benchmark interest rate will fall to 2.12 percent by the end of this year, and to 1.96 percent by the end of 2020, The Journal said, adding that it indicated that they anticipate just one rate cut in 2019 and another next year.
Powell said early this month that the Fed has been "closely monitoring" the impact of global trade tensions and other matters on the U.S. economy, and will "act as appropriate to sustain the expansion."
Those remarks have been interpreted by the market as the Fed hinting an open attitude toward lowering the rate.
The journal's survey, in which it polled 59 academic, business and financial economists, was conducted between June 7 and June 11, "though not every economist answered every question," it said.