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Goldman Sachs brings forward U.S. rate hike projection by a year

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FILE PHOTO: The logo of Goldman Sachs (GS) is seen on the clothing of a trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs has brought forward its forecast by a year to July 2022 for the first post-pandemic U.S. interest rate hike, as the investment bank expects inflation to remain elevated.

"The main reason for the change in our liftoff call is that we now expect core PCE inflation to remain above 3% — and core CPI inflation above 4% — when the taper concludes," Goldman's chief economist, Jan Hatzius, wrote in a client note.

Federal Reserve policymakers are expected to announce plans to start tapering the central bank's $120 billion in monthly purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities at the end of their two-day policy meeting on Wednesday.

"Large surprises on the virus, inflation, wage growth, or inflation expectations, could prompt a revision, but we think the hurdle for a change in either direction is high," said Hatzius.

Goldman Sachs also expects a second interest rate hike in November 2022 and two rate increases each year after that.

In the wake of Friday's inflation data, fed fund futures fully priced in a quarter-point tightening by July 2022 and another rate increase by December.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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