Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen tells Congress the economy is making ‘very good progress’ amid some of the best government data in decades on housing, jobless claims and inflation.
The U.S. dollar steamed to a level not seen since 2003 and yields on the 10-year Treasury note reached a high for the year Thursday, as Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellenconfirmed investors’ view that the U.S. economy is strong enough to withstand an interest-rate rise soon.
Ms. Yellen told lawmakers in testimony Thursday that the Fed could move “relatively soon,” after the government released a grab bag of economic data all pointing to a stronger economy: an improving housing market, rising consumer prices and a more robust labor market.
“At this stage, I do think that the economy is making very good progress toward our goals, and that the judgment the [Fed policy] committee reached in November still pertains,” she told Congress’s Joint Economic Committee.
Her comments bolstered expectations that the Fed will lift its benchmark federal-funds rate at its next meeting on Dec. 13-14.
Ms. Yellen said the results of the U.S. presidential election hadn’t altered the central bank’s assessment, following its meeting earlier this month, that the case for a rate increase had grown. And Thursday’s data suggest President-elect Donald Trump is poised to take office in January at the helm of an economy that is gathering pace.