Yellen hints at rate hike delay

by Ryan Smith07 Jun 2016
In a speech in Philadelphia Monday, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen omitted assurances that the Fed would raise its benchmark interest rate in the coming months.

The omission may signal that last week’s weak jobs report may have caused the Fed to rethink its plans to raise interest rates at its June 14-15 meeting, according to a New York Times report. Most investors think the weak jobs report will cause the Fed to delay the planned rate hike.

Yellen did say, however, that an eventual rate hike was still in the cards, the Times reported.

“If incoming data are consistent with labor market conditions strengthening and inflation making progress toward our 2% objective, as I expect, further gradual increases in the federal funds rate are likely to be appropriate,” Yellen said.

Yellen called the latest jobs report “disappointing,” the Times reported. The report estimated that the economy had added only 38,000 jobs in May, far below the pace of hiring this year so far and market projections.

However, she said that there’s plenty of evidence that the labor market is relatively healthy.

“I see good reason to expect that the positive forces supporting employment growth and higher inflation will continue to outweigh the negative ones,” she said.

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