Yellen: Fed Still on ‘Gradual’ Rate Hike Path

Despite disappointing figures for first-quarter GDP growth and May job creation, Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen said today that she believes the remainder of the year will see continued progress toward the Fed’s monetary policy goals and that “further gradual increases in the federal funds rate are likely to be appropriate.”

However, Yellen declined to give a timeframe for the next rate hike and reminded her audience at a Philadelphia speech that the Federal Open Market Committee will continue to evaluate information as it comes in. In particular, Yellen highlighted several “uncertainties” in the U.S. and global economies that could dramatically change the economic outlook: weak domestic demand, global trends like the Chinese economy and the British European Union “Brexit” vote this month, slow U.S. productivity growth and volatility in oil prices and the dollar’s value that can affect inflation.