Economists and market watchers were mixed Friday about whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in 2015, shortly after the central bank's chair, Janet Yellen, said an interest rate hike would be appropriate this year if the economy improves.
In a speech to the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce in Rhode Island on Friday, Yellen said in order to hike rates, she'll need to see continued improvement in labor market conditions and she will have to be reasonably confident that inflation will move back to 2 percent over the medium term.
Money manager Hugh Johnson pointed out to CNBC's "Power Lunch" that while unemployment is improving, it's not where it should be, and inflation is also not where it should be.
"The only question is, are we going to get to employment conditions and inflation conditions that really would justify a move towards restraint or an increase in the fund rates by year-end," said Johnson, chairman and chief investment officer of Hugh Johnson Advisors, which manages more than $1 billion in discretionary assets.
"I would say, you know that's really uncertain. I'm not dead sure we're going to get there. So we might be 2016."