The survey of more than 100 economists across the U.S. and Europe taken Aug 20-22 represents a 180-degree turn on risks to the economy and is as sudden as the violent moves in credit, currency and stock markets that triggered such a souring.
Median forecasts show they now expect the Fed to cut rates by 25 basis points by its September 18 meeting to 5.0 percent and to follow with another, bringing them to 4.75 percent by year-end.
Forty-five of 63 say the Fed will trim the funds rate by Sept 18, with 6 of those saying they will cut before and 18 saying they will stay on hold.
Thirty-four economists see a quarter percentage point of easing by then, 9 say 50 basis points and 2 thought the funds rate will be 75 basis points lower by Sept 18.
Economists saw the European Central Bank holding rates at 4.0 percent on Sept 6 -- 34 of 65 were making that call compared with only 2 of 65 just a few weeks ago, with medians showing 4.25 percent as the peak in rates.
However, the poll was taken before the ECB said on Wednesday that its rate policy stance was given by President Jean-Claude Trichet on August 2. Then, he used the words "strong vigilance" -- well-known codewords for a rate rise the following month.
As for the Bank of England, hawkish bets rates would climb to 6.0 percent, which had already dwindled to only a small majority before the recent market turmoil began, are now off the table and rates are seen on hold at 5.75 percent. Fifty of 53 see no move in UK rates in September