Yellen, tenure winding down, to update her economic outlook

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER Markets Associated Press

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will update Congress on her economic outlook Wednesday and possibly weigh in on the mystery of why inflation has remained persistently below the Fed's target rate.

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Yellen's testimony to the Joint Economic Committee could mark her final appearance before Congress before her four-year term as Fed chair ends in February. Her successor will be Jerome Powell, a Fed board member who himself addressed a Senate panel Tuesday at his confirmation hearing — if, as expected, Powell is confirmed by the Senate.

During his hearing, Powell said he intended to continue Yellen's policy of gradual increases in interest rates, given that the economy is on firm footing and the unemployment rate is just 4.1 percent, its lowest point in nearly 17 years.