Federal Reserve

A September rate hike was never really on the table, expert says

Closing Bell Exchange: Fed's next move after jobs report
Closing Bell Exchange: Fed's next move after jobs report

The Federal Reserve is not hiking this month, after the August jobs report missed economist expectations, according to experts.

A September interest rate hike is unlikely, "mainly because the average work week dropped, and that's the equivalent of losing over 250,000 jobs, which more than wipes out the 151,000 we got," Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS, said on CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Friday.

The average work week declined 0.1 percent to 34.3 hours in August.

William Lee, head of North America economics at Citigroup, said that his firm "never thought September was seriously on the table." He said on "Closing Bell" that the data-dependent Fed is not ready to move because "the doves have the power at the Fed."

"They are the voting members and they are really dominating the board. All of the hawks that you are hearing are generally nonvoting regional Fed presidents, and I don't think they have enough smoking gun in these data to get September as a real, serious meeting," Lee said, adding that his firm believes that the U.S. central bank is more likely to raise the federal funds rate in December.