Market Insider

Fed tea leaves leave market wanting more

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Closing Bell Exchange: What's holding Fed back?

The Fed remains on track to hike interest rates this year, and the minor tweaks to its post-meeting statement were just vague enough to keep the debate going on when it will raise them.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said the central bank could boost its fed funds target rate for the first time in nine years sometime this year. Economists, by a slim margin, have been expecting the first increase in September, but others see a December hike.

In its statement, the Fed upgraded its view of the economy and labor, but left questions about the course of inflation, which is tracking weaker than the Fed would like.

"I don't think this change should affect anyone's thinking about when the Fed goes," said Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies. McCarthy expects the first hike in December.

However, Peter Boockvar of The Lindsey Group sees the first rise in September, and he believes the Fed confirmed that view with an upgrade of the language on labor.

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