As Federal Reserve officials prepare to announce Thursday whether or not they will hike interest rates for the first time in nine years, T. Rowe Price Chairman and Chief Investment Officer Brian Rogers said he has a "sneaking suspicion" policymakers may pull the trigger.
U.S. central bankers probably wish they had already increased rates, Rogers told CNBC's "Squawk Box," adding that time may be running out. "I think they want to do it. I think they're a little bit unsettled by some of the recent volatility in markets. But basically they should do it."
He said the stock market would not be adverse to a move if the policy statement and subsequent news conference by Fed Chair Janet Yellen were to cite the strengthening economy as the reason. "The data suggest they probably ought to do it," said Rogers, who manages about $30 billion in the T. Rowe Price Equity Income Fund. The investment firm overall has $773 billion in assets under management.
"My motto for today, it's [like] Nike: Janet, 'Just do it,'" he said, jokingly—referring to the athletic shoe and apparel giant's slogan.
On the other hand, John Bellows, portfolio manager at Western Asset, told CNBC he expects the Fed to hold off on raising rates. "It's a close call ... because there have been some risks on the outlook." Western Asset manages $452 billion in client money.
The concerns about China's growth are seen as a complicating factor for the Fed, which needs to gauge whether a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy will spill over into the U.S. economy, which has been pretty good lately.