Yellen Reiterates Fed On Track To Raise Rates 'before Year End'

By Jeffry BartashMarketWatch Pulse

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen on Wednesday reiterated that the central bank is likely to raise interest rates "at some point this year" if the U.S. economy stays on its current growth path. Yellen did not offer any clues on when and how many rates hikes might come this year, however. Sounding a more upbeat note, Yellen told a U.S. House committee the Fed expects the economy to strengthen over the rest of 2015. She pointed to a pickup in consumer spending, particularly new cars and trucks, that indicates Americans are more confident and U.S. households are in better financial shape. Yet while the U.S. jobs market is "trending in the right direction," Yellen said in her twice-a-year testimony before Congress, there's "still some slack" that will warrant keeping rates low for an extended period. The Fed boss also pointed to the latest Greek debt crisis and problems in China, saying they "pose some risk" to the U.S. economy.

Copyright © 2015 MarketWatch, Inc.

Continue Reading Below