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Fed's Fischer: 'haven't made decision yet' on rate rise

[WASHINGTON] Federal Reserve Vice Chair Stanley Fischer said Friday that no decision had been made yet on raising interest rates at the US central bank's September 16-17 policy meeting.

Mr Fischer told CNBC television in an interview that it was "too early to tell" whether the markets turmoil sparked by China has lessened the argument for a long-expected increase in the federal funds rate.

"We haven't made a decision yet, and I don't think we should make a decision" before the meeting, he said.

"The change in the circumstances which began with the Chinese devaluation is relatively new and we are still watching how it unfolds. So I wouldn't want to go ahead and decide right now."

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"We are dealing with something which happened about ten days ago, particularly the change in the circumstances. We've got a little over two weeks before we make the decision and we've got time to wait and see the incoming data and see what exactly, what is going on now in the economy."

He said the Fed is still heading in the direction of undertaking the first rate increase in nine years, after holding the fed funds rate near zero since the 2008 economic crisis.

He said the Fed needs to get more information on how the labor market is strengthening and will be paying attention to the August jobs report coming out next week.

Up to now, he noted, the data "has been impressive, and the economy is returning to normal." However, he added, "We are not certain we're there yet."