Friday, July 10, 2015

Fed Chair Yellen: Expect to raise the federal funds rate later this year

by Bill McBride on 7/10/2015 12:34:00 PM

From Fed Chair Janet Yellen: Recent Developments and the Outlook for the Economy Excerpt:

My own outlook for the economy and inflation is broadly consistent with the central tendency of the projections submitted by FOMC participants at the time of our June meeting. Based on my outlook, I expect that it will be appropriate at some point later this year to take the first step to raise the federal funds rate and thus begin normalizing monetary policy. But I want to emphasize that the course of the economy and inflation remains highly uncertain, and unanticipated developments could delay or accelerate this first step. We will be watching carefully to see if there is continued improvement in labor market conditions, and we will need to be reasonably confident that inflation will move back to 2 percent in the next few years.

Let me also stress that this initial increase in the federal funds rate, whenever it occurs, will by itself have only a very small effect on the overall level of monetary accommodation provided by the Federal Reserve. Because there are some factors, which I mentioned earlier, that continue to restrain the economic expansion, I currently anticipate that the appropriate pace of normalization will be gradual, and that monetary policy will need to be highly supportive of economic activity for quite some time. The projections of most of my FOMC colleagues indicate that they have similar expectations for the likely path of the federal funds rate. But, again, both the course of the economy and inflation are uncertain. If progress toward our employment and inflation goals is more rapid than expected, it may be appropriate to remove monetary policy accommodation more quickly. However, if progress toward our goals is slower than anticipated, then the Committee may move more slowly in normalizing policy.
emphasis added