Gradual rate hikes appropriate given uncertainty in U.S. economy

Adam Shell, USA TODAY 12:20 p.m. EDT June 21, 2016
Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, citing “considerable uncertainty” in the U.S. economic outlook and “vulnerabilities” from abroad, says the U.S. central bank will proceed “cautiously” when raising interest rates and sees a “gradual” pace of rate increases.

Yellen’s comments on the U.S. economy and monetary policy, as well as global headwinds from China and a potential shock if Britain votes to leave the European Union, came in the first day of two days of testimony before Congress.

Her testimony comes less than a week after the Fed broke from its two-day June meeting and Yellen told investors that the Fed not only wasn’t hiking rates in June but was also dialing back the number of interest rate hikes it sees in 2017 and 2018 amid an acknowledgment that U.S. economic growth will stay in the sub-par 2% range until at least through 2018.

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