Tags: Fed | rate | hike | disastrous

Analyst Razza: Rate Hike to Be 'Disastrous' for Millions of Americans

By    |   Thursday, 30 July 2015 06:02 AM

The Great Recession officially lasted from December 2007 until June 2009.

But for many Americans, it's still not over, and that's a good reason for the Federal Reserve to refrain from raising interest rates soon, says Connie Razza, director of strategic research at the Center for Popular Democracy.

Most economists expect the Fed to lift short-term rates off their record low in either September or December.

"A Fed decision to raise rates amounts to a vote of confidence in the economy — a declaration that we have achieved the robust recovery we need," Razza writes in The Nation.

"But for many millions of Americans, the recovery has yet to arrive, and for them, a rate hike will be disastrous. It will put the brakes on an economy still trudging toward stability, stall progress on unemployment and slow wage growth even more."

The unemployment rate fell to a seven-year low of 5.3 percent in June, but wages have averaged an annual increase of just 2 percent since the Great Recession ended.

Judging by the Gallup Economic Confidence Index, many Americans may agree with Razza. The index continued its six-month slide last week, hitting a 10-month low of negative 14.

In late January, the gauge stood at positive 5, its highest reading since Gallup began the index in 2008. The score has resided in negative territory since mid-March.

The index represents the average of two components: Americans' rating of the current economy and their view as to whether it's improving or getting worse.

In the week ended July 26, the current conditions measure dropped four points to negative 9, accounting for the full slide of the overall index. The economic outlook score totaled negative 18, unchanged from the prior week.

So what's going on? "The recent drop of the current conditions component comes on the heels of a new path for solving the Greek debt crisis and amid a tumultuous period for Chinese stocks," writes Gallup's Justin McCarthy. Chinese stocks have continued their plunge this week, with the Shanghai Composite Index dropping 10 percent.

"The instability abroad could be fueling Americans' doubts about the health of the U.S. economy."

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For many Americans, the Great Recession still isn't over, and that's a good reason for the Federal Reserve to refrain from raising interest rates soon, says Connie Razza, director of strategic research at the Center for Popular Democracy.
Fed, rate, hike, disastrous
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2015-02-30
Thursday, 30 July 2015 06:02 AM
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