This cycle is different - Fed Funds rate lower for longer
This cycle is different - Fed Funds rate lower for longer. The new normal for neutral Fed Funds is 2.5% - 3.0% (i.e. in this cycle). That is derived by 1% productivity growth plus 1.5 to 2.0% inflation. In the next cycle there's a strong argument for a reversion to 4 - 5% - that, however, depends on the Fed's response to economic weakness in the next recession - more QE would be counter productive in that scenario (albeit likely). We expect a Fed Funds peak of 2 to 2.5% (maximum) or lower. Low trend productivity growth dictates a low peak in Fed Funds. This level could be reached by mid 2016.