Wall Street economists do not foresee an imminent interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve despite a credit squeeze that is pressuring financial markets and forcing central banks to funnel liquidity into the system.
Most U.S. primary dealers believe the Fed's next move will be a cut, but only a minority expects the move before year end.
Still, many see a small but growing chance that, if the current troubles persist, the Fed will have be forced to act. Others would like to see a more pronounced impact from the financial downturn on the real economy before altering their forecasts.
People shouldn't confuse the Fed's effort to keep the actual federal funds rate near 5.25 percent with a cut in the 5.25 percent target, said Jan Hatzius, senior economist at Goldman Sachs. It's possible that things end up getting away from them and they have to do an emergency cut, but we're certainly not forecasting that.
Between the European Central Bank and the Fed alone, more than $300 billion made their way into the banking system over the past two days as policy-makers looked to keep the wheels of finance greased.
For the moment, these transactions were seen as temporary measures, and did not affect analysts' longer-term outlook for monetary policy.
Yet many argued that developments needed to be tracked day-to-day, with a number of analysts assigning a small probability of an inter-meeting move.
What will cause the Fed to change policy is that if they are convinced that the financial market turmoil has a macroeconomic impact, said David Resler, chief economist at Nomura.
(Additional reporting by Caryn Trokie, Rachel Breitman, Chris Reese, John Parry, David McMahon, Richard Leong, Lucia Mutikani)