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Fed signals September rate hike still on the table

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An upgrade to the U.S. jobs outlook is a clear signal the Fed has not abandoned the possibility of a September rate hike.

The Federal Reserve upgraded its assessment of the U.S. economy at several points, including this important upgrade of the jobs situation: "The labor market continued to improve, with solid job gains and declining unemployment."

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"Solid" is an unusually aggressive word for the Fed to use.

The Fed also said that housing has shown "additional" improvement, and that labor slack 'has diminished' since early this year.

In the third paragraph, the Fed said it would raise rates when it has seen "some" further improvement in the labor market, a word it did not have in prior statements.

The Fed acknowledged that energy prices have remained low and that is causing inflation to run below the FOMC's long-run inflation objectives.

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Sure, the Fed is "data dependent" so they are not going to come out and hold our hands with an obvious statement they will raise rates next month.

But the tone of the commentary on the economy clearly indicate that a rate hike is NOT off the table for September.