Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

Yellen says full US employment coming into view, slowly

Published on Apr 17, 2014 2:16 AM

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday the US economy appeared to be slowly moving toward full employment, but that it would need help from the central bank for some time to come.

In her second public speech since taking the Fed's helm, Ms Yellen said it was "quite plausible" the economy would be back to near full employment and a healthier level of inflation by the end of 2016. "I do think we are seeing very meaningful progress, although clearly ... the goal has not been achieved at this point," she told the Economic Club of New York.

Ms Yellen used her speech to provide a monetary policy road map of sorts to one of the Fed's most important constituencies - Wall Street.

How long rates will stay near zero, she said, will depend on how far the US economy remains from the central bank's employment and inflation goals, and how long it will likely take to meet them. She stressed that the Fed would respond to shifting economic conditions as it judges when to finally tighten monetary policy after years of unprecedented stimulus.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!