Markets have zigzagged their way through the year so far, spooked first by fears the U.S. Federal Reserve would tighten too much, then assuaged by predictions it wouldn't move rates at all.
Now, Fed forecasts run the gamut, a CNBC survey has found, begging the question: Why isn't there a consensus?
For one, the market signals have become a moving target.
"Markets are never wrong but they continue to change their minds about what the Fed will do this year," DBS Bank said in a note Wednesday, ahead of the Federal Reserve decision due later in the global day. "In January, Fed fund futures reckoned the Fed would hike 2.5 times by December. Six weeks later, all of those hikes were gone. Six weeks after that – today, that is – 1.5 hikes are back on the screen."
There's another reason there isn't much agreement on what's ahead: Many of the forecasts in the survey diverged too widely to meet easily at a median.
This chart of the results of the CNBC survey highlights the divergence of opinion.