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Janet Yellen Says Fed Is Likely to Raise Interest Rates This Year

New York Times (09/25/15) Binyamin Appelbaum

The U.S. Federal Reserve still intends to raise its benchmark interest rate this year, barring unexpected negative news, Fed chairman Janet Yellen said on Thursday. Yellen, speaking a week after the central bank announced it was not ready to raise interest rates just yet, reiterated that the central bank was not planning to wait much longer. She said that labor market conditions were improving and that the Fed expected inflation to follow. However, she added that if the Fed’s expectations for growth were disappointed again, it might again delay lifting rates.

“Achieving these conditions will likely entail an initial increase in the federal funds rate later this year, followed by a gradual pace of tightening thereafter,” Yellen said. “But if the economy surprises us, our judgments about appropriate monetary policy will change.” Yellen also played down the likelihood that slower growth in other countries would cause the Fed to delay raising rates. “The committee is monitoring developments abroad, but we do not currently anticipate that the effects of these recent developments on the U.S. economy will prove to be large enough to have a significant effect on the path for policy,” she said. The committee next meets Oct. 27 and 28, and then again Dec. 15 and 16.