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Forty Percent Chance That Fed Will Delay Liftoff After September, Economists Say

Bloomberg (06/09/15) Craid Torres; A. Catarina Saraiva

Economists say there is about a 40% chance the U.S. Federal Reserve will hold off on raising interest rates until after September if job gains falter or inflation does not move toward the Fed’s 2% goal, according to a survey by Bloomberg News. Economists responding to the survey said the likelihood of a September increase is 50%. They forecast odds of a rate increase at 9% for October, 20% for December, and 10% for some time in 2016.

More than two thirds of economists surveyed said unemployment will have to fall into a range of 4.5% to 5% to push gains in average hourly earnings up to the 3% level. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees have averaged 2.1% during the current expansion, which began in June 2009, compared with 3.1% in the previous expansion. Fed officials say low wage growth is an indication of slack in the labor market.