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Fed Delays Interest-Rate Liftoff

Wall Street Journal (09/17/15) Jon Hilsenrath

Following the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting, chairman Janet Yellen indicated that short-term interest rates will remain unchanged, delaying again the decision to raise rates as worries about overseas growth continue. Thirteen of the 17 members of the policymaking committee expect to raise rates in 2015, but that was fewer than the 15 members who held that view in June.

Many of the central bank’s officials, including Yellen, do not want to raise short-term interest rates until they are more confident that the inflation rate will move toward its 2% target.

“The longer they wait, the more difficult their job is going to be 12 or 18 months from now,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “The main risk is that they now wait too long and that then they have to play catch-up and have to raise rates very aggressively and undermine economic growth.”