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China is the Concern This Time Around. Does It Seem Like the Fed Will Find Any Excuse It Can Not To Raise Rates?

Unsurprising to market observers, the Federal Reserve left their target interest rate at between 0 and 0.25%, exactly where it has been since 2008.

Why did the Fed not raise interest rates when it would be easy to justify an increase based on labor market conditions in the U.S.? Interestingly, the minutes of the FOMC indicate that the answer to this question is members' concerns about international conditions.

Fed Mentions of China

The interest in international conditions is most notably seen when looking at mentions of China in the Fed's Beige book.

Here's that look. It counts the number of times China was mentioned in the Fed's Beige book since 2012.

Fascinatingly, in September that figure jumped to 14, well above any prior Beige Book report.

The previous highs occurred in 2013, at 6.

Fed = Thinking about Why?

So the Fed is more concerned about economic conditions in China than natural interest rate policy in the U.S. Seems reasonable, perhaps. But, does it seem like the Fed will think up any excuse it can not to raise rates. Previous reasons included weak wage growth, European weakness, lack of inflation, and various others. The list could go on, and on, and on.

What's the Real Reason the Fed Keeps Pushing Rate...