Fed's Yellen says data point to softening in U.S. spending

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Thursday that recent data pointed to a softening in spending in the U.S. economy which might partly be explained by the impact of bad weather.

"Since my appearance before the House committee, a number of data releases have pointed to softer spending than many analysts have expected," Yellen said in testimony to the Senate Banking Committee.

"Part of that softness may reflect adverse weather conditions, but at this point it's difficult to discern exactly how much. In the weeks and months ahead, my colleagues and I will be attentive to signals that indicate whether the recovery is progressing in line with our earlier expectations."

(Reporting by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Paul Simao)