The current federal funds rate — the interest rate banks charge each other — currently is at 0.5 percent. The rate was as high as 20 percent in the 1980s to combat inflation.
Although Yellen expressed caution about too steep a rise in U.S. rates, she sounded more confident than she has in the past that the U.S. economy has rebounded from a weak winter and that inflation would edge higher toward the Fed’s 2 percent target.
“The process is likely to proceed gradually,” Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said, a hint that further hikes will be slow in coming.
“I think the point of ‘liftoff’ is close,” Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said in prepared remarks for an address to the Atlanta Press Club. “The economy has made great gains and is approaching an acceptable normal… conditions are no longer extraordinary.”
“The Fed is taking baby steps towards a rate hike. Enough improvements have been made in the labor market that the Fed only needs a little more confirming evidence to say it is time,” said Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management.
Washington (AFP) – The U.S. Commerce Department raised its estimate for U.S. economic growth to 4.2 percent Thursday, confirming the solid rebound from the first quarter’s steep contraction. The department said a fuller set of data showed a higher level of fixed investment by companies and the government, contributing to the 0.2 point upward revision […]
By Paul Handley Washington (AFP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Friday that the U.S. jobs market has not yet fully recovered, but acknowledged that data is sending mixed signals, spurring debate over inflationary pressures. In a speech to leading central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Yellen, who has kept Fed policy expansive due […]
Washington (AFP) – The U.S. Federal Reserve began a two-day policy meeting Tuesday under rising pressure to step off its ultra-dovish stance to address rising inflation and worries of overheated markets. So far this year the Fed has stuck to its plan: steadily reducing its bond-buying stimulus program, to wind up in October, and looking […]
Washington (AFP) — The Federal Reserve could raise its interest rate sooner than expected as the jobs market improves, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said Tuesday, adding the Fed was closely watching for risks. Yellen, in testimony to Congress, said the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) was closely following developments in the economy to determine […]
Washington (AFP) – The Federal Reserve plans to stop buying bonds in October, setting an exit to its stimulus program for the U.S. economy, policy meeting minutes showed Wednesday. “If the economy progresses about as the Committee expects… this final reduction would occur following the October meeting,” said the minutes of the June 17-18 meeting […]
By Don Lee, Tribune Washington Bureau WASHINGTON — Stanley Fischer, the former Bank of Israel head picked by President Barack Obama for the No. 2 job at the Federal Reserve, won Senate confirmation Wednesday to become a member of the Fed’s board of governors. The 68-27 vote in favor of Fischer means he will have little […]
By Paul Handley Washington (AFP) – Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen argued Monday that the U.S. labor market remains slack and that Federal Reserve policy needs to stay focused on generating jobs. In the clearest delineation of her priorities since taking the helm of the central bank in February, Yellen said the steady fall in […]
Washington (AFP) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Monday that the U.S. economy still needs the Fed’s extraordinary support measures, noting that the falling jobless rate masks weaknesses in the jobs market. In a speech in Chicago highlighting slack in the labor market, Yellen said the economy remains “still considerably short” of the Fed’s […]
Washington (AFP) – The Federal Reserve cut back its stimulus program by another $10 billion Wednesday despite the recent U.S. economic slowdown, which it blamed “in part” on severe winter weather. The Federal Open Market Committee reduced stimulus spending to $55 billion a month, saying the broader economy has “sufficient underlying strength” to support continued […]
Washington (AFP) – New Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said Tuesday that she had no plans to change monetary policy from that mapped out by her predecessor Ben Bernanke. In her first comments on the U.S. central bank’s path forward after the took the helm on February 1, Yellen said the Fed would continue to […]