U.S. Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen testifies before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on the "Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress", at Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., the United States, Feb. 14, 2017. (Xinhua/Bao Dandan)
U.S. Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen said on Tuesday that the Fed will consider whether to raise interest rates at upcoming meetings.
"At our upcoming meetings, the (Federal Open Market) Committee will evaluate whether employment and inflation are continuing to evolve in line with these expectations, in which case a further adjustment of the federal funds rate would likely be appropriate," said Yellen in her testimony before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
She gave an upbeat assessment of the economy, saying that the economy has continued to make progress toward the maximum employment and price stability objectives.
She expected that the economy will continue to grow at a moderate pace, with job market strengthening further and inflation closer to the Fed's 2 percent target.
By assessing the current economic conditions, the Fed views that gradual increases in the interest rates will be appropriate, said Yellen.
However, she emphasized that waiting too long to raise rates could force the central bank to raise rates more rapidly, which could risk disrupting financial markets and pushing the economy into recession.
Yellen acknowledged that the fiscal policy and other economic policies which might be introduced by the new Administration could affect the U.S. economic outlook.
"It's too early to know what policy changes will be put in place or how their economic effects will unfold," said Yellen.
She suggested that fiscal policy should aim at lifting up productivity and improving longer-run economic growth and living standards of American people.
During the question and answer session, Yellen said that the review of financial regulations was "legitimate and important goal," and she would work with the Treasury Secretary and other regulators to conduct a thorough review of the regulations.
U.S. President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order, requiring Treasury Secretary to review the post-crisis financial regulations, in order to pave way for any regulation relaxing.