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Fed official casts doubt on September rate hike

Central Bank Governors Attend The Banque De France International SymposiumCentral Bank Governors Attend The Banque De France International Symposium
William Dudley, president and chief executive officer Federal Reserve Bank of New YorkPhotograph by Kosuke Okahar — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Those bracing for a rise in interest rates may breathe easy for a little while longer.

William Dudley, president of the New York Federal Reserve, said at a press briefing Wednesday that a September rate hike may be less likely in light of the very recent market turmoil.

“From my perspective, at this moment, the decision to begin the normalization process at the September FOMC meeting seems less compelling to me than it was a few weeks ago,” Dudley said. Still, he added that “normalization could become more compelling by the time of the [September] meeting.”

His comment represents a shift from reports that a rate hike could come next month, and comes just one month after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated rates would soon go up, though not necessarily this year. Market conditions “likely would make it appropriate at some point this year to raise the federal funds rate target,” Yellen told the House Financial Services Committee in July.

Dudley, too, has voiced support for an imminent rate hike. He said Wednesday that he “really” would like to raise rates before 2016, but cautioned: “let’s see how the data unfold before we make any statements about exactly when that might occur.”