The Fed: Fed expected to send hawkish signals with the dot plot

December’s dot plot.

With an interest-rate hike already virtually set, the bigger news from the Federal Reserve is likely to be a hawkish signals from the central bank’s projections of future interest rate hikes, led by the so-called “dot plot,” economists said Friday.

Fed officials have penciled in three rate hikes in 2017, but that might move up to four.

“The risk of a hawkish surprise is substantial,” said James Sweeney, chief economist in fixed income research at Credit Suisse.

The Fed will meet for two days starting on Tuesday. It will release a statement on Wednesday along with new economic projections at 2 p.m.

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