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Yellen: Economy Still Needs Fed Aid

Wall Street Journal (11/13/13) Victoria McGrane

Speaking before a U.S. Senate Banking Committee confirmation hearing on Nov. 14, U.S. Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen, who is President Obama’s pick to replace Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke in January, is expected to say that while the U.S. economy has strengthened since the 2008 financial crisis, it still needs help from the central bank. Her statement issued before the hearing did not contain any new signals about Fed policy, but it did outline several points to defend the Fed’s $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program.

Yellen expects the inflation rate to remain low for some time, below the Fed’s 2% target, but she is expected to point out that the central bank is failing to hit the mark on its dual mandate of pursuing maximum employment and stabilizing prices. Unemployment increased to 7.3% last month. Senators on both sides of the aisle expect her to win confirmation.