There’s one big factor this year that the Fed rarely mentions: the U.S. presidential election. Fed Chair Janet Yellen has stated that any further rate hikes will be data dependent, so what does it mean for interest rates?
The Fed has a lot of power over the economy and stock market. “How the economy fares could sway the election outcome.” If the Fed decides to raise rates too soon it could dramatically affect stock markets, which nobody wants to do before a presidential election.
The Fed has always defended its independence from politics. Although they are in close proximity geographically, the Fed argues it acts based on economic data, not polling data.