1. US Fed official still looking at 2015 rate hike

US Fed official still looking at 2015 rate hike

A voting member of the US Federal Reserve's policy committee said Friday that he believes the economy is on a satisfactory track and that an increase in interest rates is likely to be appropriate in either October or December.

By: | Published: October 9, 2015 10:04 PM

A voting member of the US Federal Reserve’s policy committee said Friday that he believes the economy is on a satisfactory track and that an increase in interest rates is likely to be appropriate in either October or December.

Dennis Lockhart, president of the Fed’s Atlanta regional bank, said the economic data has been giving off mixed signals and there is more ambiguity in the data than there was a few weeks ago.

Lockhart said he will be watching consumer activity closely before he makes his decision on whether to raise rates at one of the Fed’s two final meetings of 2015.

”I continue to feel that cumulative progress is consistent with liftoff relatively soon,” Lockhart said his remarks to the annual meeting of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

The Fed has kept its key interest rate at a record low near zero since December 2008.

Lockhart’s views on the timing for a rate hike have been closely followed because he is one of five regional bank presidents with a vote this year on the Federal Open Market Committee, the panel of Fed bank presidents and Washington board members that meets eight times a year to set interest rate policy for the central bank.

The next meeting of the committee will be Oct. 27-28 and the final meeting of the year will occur on Dec. 15-16.

Many private economists believe that a weak jobs report for September released last week makes an October move unlikely, but many are still forecasting a rate hike in December.

When the Fed starts raising rates, something it has not done in nine years, it will mean higher rates for consumer and business borrowers. But central bank officials, including Fed Chair Janet Yellen, have stressed that the rate hikes are likely to be very gradual, meaning rates will remain near historic lows for some time.

Many had expected the first rate hike to occur in September, but minutes of that meeting released Thursday revealed concern among Fed officials about a significant slowdown in China, which roiled markets in August. The thought was that China’s problems could have a more severe impact on the U.S. economy than they had forecast. The Fed voted 9-1 at that meeting to keep rates unchanged.

Lockhart said that trying to interpret the recent twists and turns in the economy has been like riding a roller-coaster.

”The ambiguity of the moment reinforces the need to closely watch the vital signs of the economy over the coming weeks to determine if the outlook has changed,” Lockhart said.

Before the December meeting the Fed will have data on the October and November employment numbers, inflation data for September and October and the first two estimates for overall economic growth in the third quarter, Lockhart said.

Data on consumer spending, he said, will be the most important.

  1. J
    James-Peter Evanhoe
    Oct 10, 2015 at 5:26 am
    Its time for the Federal Reserve to do > Q Main Street. .....then we must develop Economic soundness by Establishing a 2 Level Economy - Financial System. Splitting the Economy in 2 is the action to take by the Congress - the US Treasury -&- the Federal Reserve. Establish Main Street .... funding programs for infrastructure, urban renewal, innovation & entrepreneur financing. Take the exact amount of Wall Street - National Banks - National-&-Global US Industries have in total: $150Trillion. Then establish the same amount for Main Street......the exact amount! And Wall Street-National Banks & Industries can not invest in Main Street ....not at all....ever. Taking the same amount bets are Main Street brings back the US Economy completely and moves the Country forward. But Wall Street must be left out of Main Street. TO Finance the New Level "Main Street" a completely different currency is established as well as bonds. Each year for the next 15 years Congress works with Main Street to establish Spending Programs for Infrastructure, urban renewal, innovation & entrepreneur financing. This could include housing. Wall Street can keep the current US Dollar. Main Street will use the new Currency called US Liberty But again Wall Street can not invest in Main Street and Main Street can not invest in Wall Street directly. Employees & Owners of Main Street when they reach a level of comfort and affordability that qualifies them to take 1% of their income can invest in Wall Street but its only done through insured securities. But Wall Street can never invest their US Dollar in Main Street. Main Street only uses Local in State Banks absolutely no regional (multi-state) or national or global banks. This is key. This is do able ! Government than has a tax systems from two sources that are not related. employees of Wall Street go to their area Currency Exchange Bank which charges a small percentage for exchange US Dollar to US Liberties. The exchange bank then resigns the currency to a looping system of direction. Meaning this bank is the only bank that can invest in both US Dollars and US Liberties. The bank is taxed by both systems quarterly.
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