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Federal Reserve

Yellen: Persistent economic weakness could slow rate hikes

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen cautioned Wednesday that global weakness and falling financial markets could depress the U.S. economy's growth and slow the pace of Fed interest rate hikes.

But Yellen made clear that the Fed won't likely find it necessary to cut rates after having raised them from record lows in December. She did concede, though, that negative rates, which central banks in Japan and Europe have recently imposed, are a tool the Fed has at least studied.

In her semiannual report to Congress, Yellen offered no major surprises. And she reiterated the Fed's confidence that the U.S. economy was on track for stronger growth and an increase in too-low inflation....

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