Gundlach Says Fed Ready to Raise Unless Economic Data Weakening

  • DoubleLine CEO says hike now depends on economy not weakening
  • Odds of a Fed move in June climbed to 28 percent this week

BlackRock's Rieder: Data Downtrend Makes Fed Hike Harder

Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive officer of $95 billion DoubleLine Capital, says the Federal Reserve has changed the conditions required for a potential interest-rate hike this year.

“The Fed has shifted from, ‘if the data pattern improves we will have the green light to hike,’ to ‘unless the data pattern weakens we have the green light to hike,’” Gundlach, 56, wrote in an e-mail Thursday.

In minutes of an April Federal Open Market Committee meeting released Wednesday, officials used the word June six times, signaling the possibility of a rate hike next month. Odds of a move in June, which would be the second in a decade following December’s quarter-percentage-point increase, climbed to 28 percent, according to Bloomberg data.

Gundlach, whose $60 billion DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund has outperformed 98 percent of its Bloomberg peers over the past five years, said May 12 that the odds were about 50-50 for an increase this year.

Gundlach previously criticized Fed board members who signaled intentions to increase rates as many as four times this year as “a suicide mission,” given signs of weakness, such as slowing U.S. corporate earnings and negative interest rate policies pursued by central bankers in Japan and Europe.

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