Talk about being put on hold, the Federal Reserve might not make a move on interest rates until September unless the economy picks up, said Sharon Stark, fixed income strategist at D.A. Davidson. 'If the economy continues to grow to around 2.5% and nonfarm payrolls continue to grow at over 200,000 a month on average, the unemployment rate drops and inflation starts to increase then they may have an opportunity in the fall,' said Stark. Prior to January’s market plunge, a large number of Wall Street strategists were predicting up to four interest rate hikes over the course of 2016. Stark said the drop in oil is also making this less likely because it illustrates an underlying weakness in the economy. Even worse is the fact that consumers are reluctant to spend their energy savings. 'The consumer is not spending and so the economy is not growing as fast and prices are not increasing,' said Stark.
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