3% is the new speed limit for US growth: Strategist

It's still a central banker's world
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Investors shouldn't expect pro-growth fiscal policies to take the spotlight from central banks any time soon, Russell Investment's Stephen Wood said Friday.

Fixes to the U.S. tax code will only marginally improve economic growth, but for the time being, it remains a central banker's world, with monetary policy dominating the conversation, he told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

"I think it's more of a 2.5 to 3 [percent], maybe 2.75 to 3.25 world," he said. "At the end of this longer recovery cycle, I think that could be the new speed limit on the economy in a deleveraging world."

"Also, in this generation, I think it's disinflation that is the issue, not inflation, which was our parents' challenge. So what we're dealing with right now is a disinflationary world, and how do you create growth in that environment?"

On Thursday, the Commerce Department said the U.S. economy grew by 2.3 percent in the second quarter, below analysts' estimates for 2.6 percent growth.

Despite the miss, Wood said he still believes the Federal Reserve will begin raising interest rates in September, not because the data indicate it's the right time to do so, but because the central bank is institutionally committed to tightening monetary policy.

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"The Fed is not as data-dependent as they want us to think they are. I think they want to go, and in the absence of some dreadfully bad data, they're going to go," he said.

The CME FedWatch tool, which measures daily market reaction to the probability of a change in the fed funds rate, puts the chance of a Rate hike in September at 0 percent. It had stood at 15 percent prior to the GDP report.

Krishna Memani, CIO and head of fixed income at Oppenheimer Funds, said its too soon to say a September rate hike is a given.

"December is probably more likely," he told "Squawk Box." "I think once this year is what they are looking to do and they are data dependent and the data is just not strong enough for them to do it in September."

"You have two more data employment reports, and if they come in much stronger than where the GDP number was, perhaps we have a chance."

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Weakness in the Chinese economy may also give the Fed pause, he said. "It has been slowing, and there's no relief. It'll probably continue to slow and probably take global growth down along with it. That kind of makes the Fed's job a lot tougher."

Should the U.S. dollar continue to strengthen in anticipation of higher rates, the case for tightening weakens because the strong dollar is essentially doing the tightening for the Fed, he added.