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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 the future path of interest rates.

“If the labor market continues to improve more quickly than anticipated by the committee, resulting in faster convergence toward our dual objectives, then increases in the federal funds rate target likely would occur sooner and be more rapid than currently envisioned,” Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee.

But, she said, the future path of interest rates “likely would be more accommodative than currently anticipated” if economic performance is disappointing.

Yellen said the economy was continuing to make headway toward the Fed’s dual goals of maximum employment and price stability of around 2.0 percent inflation.

But, she noted, there was considerable uncertainty surrounding the Fed’s projections for economic growth, unemployment, and inflation.

“FOMC participants currently judge these risks to be nearly balanced but to warrant monitoring in the months ahead.”

AFP Photo / Justin Sullivan

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Reps. Matt Gaetz, left, and Marjorie Taylor Greene on their "America First" tour.

Photo from Rep. Matt Gaetz's verified Twitter

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

At a time when Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida is facing a federal sex trafficking investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia has jumped to his defense and joined forces with him for a fundraising tour. The far-right MAGA Republicans are both aggressive fundraisers, repeatedly stressing their unwavering devotion to former President Donald Trump. But according to Daily Beast reporter Roger Sollenberger, the Gaetz/Greene tour has "spent four times as much as" it has raised.

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