A World Divided: All Eyes Turn to Fed for Hints on Interest Rates - Modern Distribution Management

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A World Divided: All Eyes Turn to Fed for Hints on Interest Rates

Global bankers call for rate increase, but U.S. conflicted on that move.

Continued volatility in oil prices and the wild swings of global stock markets over the past week have riled the nerves of some. And all eyes have turned to the Federal Reserve, which may increase interest rates next month … or may not. It's still up in the air – and pundits are all over the map on their predictions.

What is known is that at last week's global banking conference in Jackson Hole, WY, many central bankers from outside the U.S. said they were ready to see the interest rate here go up. Augustin Carstens, the top central banker for Mexico, told Reuters that a rate hike would be an encouraging sign to other economies that the U.S. economy is well on the path of recovery.

But not everyone is so keen on the move. Trading was "gloomy" on the New York Stock Exchange this morning after hints that the rates might go up, according to a report on NPR. A rate hike would likely lead to a stronger dollar – a commonly cited factor for why the economy isn't growing as fast or as well as many had hoped.

Movement of the rate is often tied to interest rates, but the U.S inflation rate has been "persistently below 2 percent," according to Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer in Jackson Hole. Officials still expect the inflation rate to increase – eventually – but it has defied expectations to this point.

That, however, won't necessarily keep the Fed from raising the rate.

Another factor is jobs growth, and that, too, has been a roller coaster ride for observers. Strong months are followed by revisions and weakness. The next release on Sept. 4 may provide some clearer signals on that front.

Or not.

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