Yellen Cites Economic Gains as Dec. Rate Hike Seems Likely

The Federal Reserve building in Washington, D.C.
The Federal Reserve building in Washington, D.C.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is sketching a picture of a U.S. economy that’s still not at full health but is showing enough gains in hiring and growth to raise expectations of a Fed interest rate hike in December.

In prepared testimony to a congressional committee, Yellen says the Fed at its meeting this month thought the case for boosting its benchmark rate had strengthened and that a rate hike “could well become appropriate relatively soon.”

Yellen notes that the job market has continued to show improvement this year and that inflation, though still below the Fed’s 2-percent target, has started to pick up. Most investors and economists expect the Fed to boost rates at its next meeting in mid-December, and Yellen’s prepared testimony notes that there are risks of further delaying a rate increase.

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