Fed Chair Yellen expects key rate to stay low for 'at least' first 3 months of 2015

Associated Press

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen expects the Fed to hold a key interest rate near zero for the next three months — if not longer.

After policymakers ended their December meeting, Yellen spelled out what the Fed meant in saying in a statement that it would be "patient" in deciding to raise its benchmark short-term rate, which influences many loan rates.

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"The committee considers it unlikely to begin the normalization process for at least the next couple of meetings," Yellen said at a news conference.

Fed officials are to meet again in January and March of 2015, meaning that rates are likely to say ultra-low for the next three months.

Many analysts expect the Fed to raise rates from historic lows in June or September of next year.