The Federal Reserve hasn’t raised interest rates – which are currently hovering close to 0% – in nearly a decade. The agency has repeatedly said that it will only raise interest rates when it believes the economy has sufficiently recovered. And in its statement today, the Fed seemed optimistic about the direction the economy was headed.
“The labor market continues to improve, with solid job gains and declining unemployment,” the statement said.
The Fed didn’t give a definite date for an interest rate hike. “The Committee anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when it has seen further improvement in the labor market,” the statement said.
But Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said that a rate hike would be “appropriate” later this year if the economy continues to improve, and most experts think the Fed will act at its next meeting in September, according to a CNN Money report.
While the Fed has repeatedly said that its decision will be “data-dependent” and not locked down to a particular date, most experts say the countdown has begun.
“They're going to want to communicate to the market that every single meeting going forward is live for liftoff,” Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors, told CNN Money.
Could the Fed be getting close to a rate hike? If some analysts are right, one could be coming in six weeks.