, pub-6663105814926378, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Yellen will be ‘patient’ on interest rates 4289

Yellen will be ‘patient’ on interest rates

Janet Yellen is still watching and waiting, said Binyamin Applebaum in The New York Times. The Federal Reserve chairwoman told congressional leaders this week that while the central bank is heartened by recent economic growth, Fed officials are convinced there is room for improvement, and so they will not move to raise benchmark interest rates in the immediate future. “There has been important progress,” Yellen said, but persistent underemployment, “sluggish” wage growth, and low inflation could push back the timing of any rate hikes. Analysts expect any rate increases won’t come until at least June.

Rate hikes weren’t the only item on the agenda, said Steven Mufson in Yellen also fielded questions from lawmakers about recent calls “for greater congressional control of the central bank,” including a Republican-backed proposal called “Audit the Fed” that is driven by concerns the central bank has become too powerful and kept interest rates too low for too long. Yellen told lawmakers she “strongly” opposes the bill and warned it would “politicize monetary policy” and bring unwelcome “short-term pressures” on the central bank.

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