Fed Seen Delaying Rate Rises Until September

The Federal Reserve’s long-awaited liftoff on its benchmark interest rate won’t happen until September, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, as officials try to spur inflation and hiring after the economy stumbled in the first quarter.

Policy makers meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday in Washington will assess the impact of a harsh winter and a stronger dollar, which may have helped reduce the pace of economic growth to the lowest in a year, economists said. A hiring slowdown last month is adding to caution inside the Federal Open Market Committee, said Thomas Costerg at Standard Chartered Bank in New York.

“They would like to see more signs of a rebound in the second quarter,” said Costerg, the New York-based senior U.S. economist. “There are some fears that the headwinds from the strong dollar and the drop in oil investment may persist.”