Janet Yellen will chair her first meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee with broad agreement on Wall Street over the outlook for policy this year and a forecast for stronger U.S. growth this year and next. But the March CNBC Fed Survey finds sharp divisions over what happens to Federal Reserve policy in 2015 and a cloud of geopolitical concern hanging over the outlook.
All but one of the 41 respondents, who include economists, fund managers, and strategists, see the Fed tapering at the meeting this week, and 81 percent expect tapering at each of the remaining meetings this year.
That's up from 72 percent in January. On average, respondents see the Fed tapering by around $10 billion at each meeting. A strong 59 percent agree with the $10 billion pace of tapering, with 27 percent saying the Fed should go faster and 10 percent saying slower.
The Fed currently is purchasing $65 billion in assets every month to try and drive down interest rates and stimulate the economy. It has signaled it would reduce or taper its purchases by $10 billion at each meeting this year, which would effectively ends it purchase program by December.