Federal Reserve watchers have waited all year for the central bank to raise interest rates. No doubt your editor has wondered the same thing.
The wait could be over this week — or not. USA TODAY says economists appear evenly split on whether the Fed will finally allow rates to go up.
If interest rates rise, that would spell an end to the extraordinarily low rates in place since the recession began in 2008. Low rates also have fueled a six-year bull market on Wall Street.
But the Fed’s caution could continue. Fed Chair Janet Yellen has predicted the group will raise rates before the end of the year. However, she has repeatedly said that the governors want data showing the health of the American economy, particularly when it comes to jobs.
On Friday, 11 of 19 economists and investment strategists surveyed by Action Economics predicted the Fed will delay the move after recent turmoil in financial markets.
If you’re tasked with covering the Fed meetings on Wednesday and Thursday, keep an eye on how global markets react. You also might listen for comments by President Obama and other federal officials about the economy.