×

Here's what the Fed decision means for a possible September hike

Analysts are skeptical about the Fed's next move after it chose not to change interest rates in July, leaving its benchmark federal funds rate in a range of 0.25 percent to 0.50 percent.

On Wednesday, the Fed said the labor market has gotten stronger while economic activity expanded at a moderate rate since its last meeting. Esther George of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank was the only dissenting vote.

Analysts are questioning whether there will be a September hike.

"It's always a live meeting and a September hike is still on the table, but our forecast is for a December rate hike. Of course, this is a Fed that's going to be very cautious," Anika Khan, the senior economist for Wells Fargo, said on "Power Lunch." "The good news is that overall economic growth will likely post a solid reading in the second-quarter on the back of solid consumer spending."

Other analysts say the Fed's decision was a move to change September expectations.

"I think they're trying to nudge expectations of a September rate hike off the ground here because the data could get better, and they don't want to shock expectations later," David Kelly, chief global strategist for J.P. Morgan Funds, said.

The Fed said that job gains were strong in June and that household spending was growing strongly.

It also mentioned that the business investment remains soft.

"They could also have downgraded capital spending if they wanted to, but they didn't do so," Kelly said, "They're clearly trying to send a signal here that our worst fears have not yet been realized and there's very little wrong with the economy here."