Barry Armstrong

The nation’s central bankers say they want to raise interest rates soon, but they keep waiting and waiting. No rate hike came out of the most recent monetary policy meeting; Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen said the time wasn’t right because of “heightened uncertainties abroad.” As part of our 4th-quarter 2015 Bankrate Market Mavens survey of leading financial market analysts, we asked:

When do you expect the Fed will raise interest rates?

March 2016 or later. The Fed made it clear that they want to see inflation of 2% or better, and it will take at least another 6 months for them to hit the target.”

— Barry Armstrong, president, Armstrong Advisory Group

Cary Carbonaro

January 2016. I thought it was going to happen in September, so now it will be December, or January 2016.”

— Cary Carbonaro, author, “The Money Queen’s Guide for Women Who Want to Build Wealth and Banish Fear”

Chuck Carlson

October 2015.

— Chuck Carlson, CEO, Horizon Investment Services

 Marilyn Cohen

January 2016. The Fed has boxed itself in and wants more than ever to leave 0% interest rates behind them.”

— Marilyn Cohen, president, Envision Capital Management

Michael K. Farr

January 2016. It’s really a guess. They are losing credibility and need to hike. It is concerning that they can’t find the will to take responsible, albeit difficult, steps.”

— Michael K. Farr, president and CEO, Farr, Miller & Washington

David Lafferty

December 2015. The Fed is cognizant of international developments but will not be held captive by them. FOMC forecasts still call for the first tightening in 2015. If it gets pushed into 2016, the Fed may be putting its own credibility at risk.”

— David Lafferty, chief market strategist, Natixis Global Asset Management

Charles Lieberman

December 2015. I fully expect the Fed to hike rates this year and would not rule out October, although December is slightly more likely. The Fed should have acted this past week. Interest rates no longer belong at historically low levels to combat extraordinary economic conditions.”

— Charles Lieberman, managing partner and chief investment officer, Advisors Capital Management

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October 2015. The Fed (members) have backed themselves into a corner with respect to a 2015 rate hike, which is widely expected. Should they delay until 2016, more negative effects are likely as investors wonder just what the Fed is so worried about. An increase in December would be much more difficult than October, with all of the end-of-the-year events affecting markets, so I believe October is most likely. Should we have a government shutdown, however, or if one looks likely, I would expect them to delay to December or even to 2016.”

— W. Bradford McMillan, chief investment officer, Commonwealth Financial Network

Patrick J. O'Hare

December 2015. If the latest round of volatility hadn’t occurred, we think the Fed would have raised rates at the September meeting. Now that it has tied the decision not to raise rates to concerns about the global economy and financial developments, it will need a multi-month slate of data before it can be reasonably confident again that it can raise rates. With the Fed chair emphasizing that most participants expect a rate hike before the end of the year, we suspect the Fed will raise in December, provided the economic data point to some stabilization — which is to say it doesn’t have to show things getting much better, only that they aren’t getting any worse.”

— Patrick J. O’Hare, chief market analyst,

Jeff Reeves

January 2016.

— Jim Osman, founder and CEO, The Edge Consulting Group

Jeff Reeves

December 2015. I think the Fed has been telegraphing this move for quite some time, and the most recent FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting was like a parent giving their kid a 5-minute warning until bedtime. In October we’ll get the ‘OK, I mean it, 1 more minute!’ and then December is when we’ll get a meager 25 basis points (0.25) bump, with plenty of notice. The media frenzy around this September meeting proves that people are paying attention, but I think the Fed is erring on the side of lots of info before they act.”

— Jeff Reeves, executive editor,

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December 2015, not because the data suggest a rate increase is necessary, as inflation remains weak, but rather an increase is likely as the Fed defends its credibility.”

— Brian Rehling, co-head of global fixed income strategy, Wells Fargo Investment Institute

Sam Stovall

December 2015. They are anxious to get the first one under their belts.”

— Sam Stovall, U.S. equity strategist, S&P Capital IQ

Don Taylor

December 2015. I think the Federal Reserve will decide that a rate increase in 2015 is an important signal to the financial markets and that the October meeting doesn’t provide enough time for improvement in the global economy.”

— Don Taylor, Bankrate’s Dr. Don, president and chief analyst, Emmett Advisers

Francisco Torralba

December 2015.

— Francisco Torralba, senior economist, Morningstar investment management division

Mark Willoughby

March 2016 or later. With the introduction of the impact on global markets in the latest Fed statement, a new variable has been introduced to the decision matrix for the Fed. That will be a more problematic consideration when it comes to raising rates and introducing more confusion into the markets. If that international variable is given equal (or even significant) consideration as a stable dollar and full employment, then the Fed will not be raising rates for a very long time.”

— Mark Willoughby, senior vice president, Hilliard Lyons