While many experts have expressed doubt as to whether the Fed will raise rates in September following Monday's Dow Jones crash, a rate hike seems even less likely after an influential policy maker from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York weighed in on the issue.
At a press conference following a speech on the regional economic outlook in Buffalo on Wednesday morning, New York Fed president and CEO William C. Dudley expressed the idea that a rate hike at September's Federal Open Market Committee meeting seemed "less compelling" than it was a few weeks ago following the turbulent stock market activity earlier in the week.
"From my perspective, what we're going to do is going to be data dependent," Dudley said. "But data is not just about the monthly economic releases that come out, which have actually been pretty positive."
Dudley pointed out that the recent reports on consumer confidence, new home sales, and durable goods were all strong – but that only tells part of the story, he said.
"From my perspective, what we're going to do is going to be data dependent."
"You also have to look at all the other things that could potentially affect the economic outlook," Dudley said. "At the end of the day, we're concerned about the outlook – how is the economy going to perform in the future? So it's not just how we're performing today, it's all the things that affect the outlook beyond the next few months."
The term "data dependent" includes all those things as well as international economic developments and U.S. financial market developments, Dudley said.
According to a report from the New York Times, Dudley's remarks on Wednesday were the first public indication that recent events are influencing the Fed's plans for the September meeting. His comments on Wednesday make it seem less likely that the Fed will raise rates in September, since many investors are betting heavily against a rate hike and Dudley has previously stated he does not want the Fed to surprise markets, according to the report.
Despite Dudley's doubts, for some, the positive economic data reports from the last couple of weeks are enough. In a Reuters survey of 22 of the nation's top economists on Wednesday, 20 of them said the housing market is probably strong enough to withstand a rate increase by the Fed this year.
The FOMC's next meeting will be September 16 and 17. It will be the Committee's sixth of eight meetings this year. The two remaining meetings will be October 27-28 and December 15-16.