Yellen stresses that Fed foresees gradual pace of rate hikes


NEW YORK (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is stressing that the Fed still envisions a gradual pace of interest rate increases in light of global pressures that could weigh on the U.S. economy.

Yellen isn’t specifying a timetable for further hikes to follow the Fed’s rate increase in December from record lows. She says the risks to the United States remain limited but cautions that that assessment is subject to “considerable uncertainty.”

Speaking to the Economic Club of New York, the Fed chair says the central bank is monitoring the effects of a global economic slump, lower oil prices and stock market turbulence. She says “given the risks to the outlook” the Fed will “proceed cautiously” in raising rates.

Most economists expect no hike at the Fed’s next meeting in April.