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Financial News: Yellen Sees Gradual Rate Hikes

Yellen Sees Gradual Rate Hikes

02/14/2017 - 10:25:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The Federal Reserve can raise interest rates at a gradual pace, Fed Chair Janet Yellen told lawmakers on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning.

Policy makers predicted three rate hikes in 2017, but lingering concerns about the global economy and a lack of clarity on new president Donald Trump's fiscal policies has left the Fed in limbo. 

"Since my appearance before this Committee last June, the economy has continued to make progress toward our dual-mandate objectives of maximum employment and price stability," Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee.

If the labor market continues to strengthen and inflation moves to the central banks 2% target, "a further adjustment of the federal funds rate would likely be appropriate," Yellen said.

However, analysts say the Fed is unlikely to raise rates at the next meeting in March.

"Changes in fiscal policy or other economic policies could potentially affect the economic outlook," Yellen said. "Of course, it is too early to know what policy changes will be put in place or how their economic effects will unfold."

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