Fed Chair Janet Yellen says the Federal Reserve is set to raise its benchmark interest rate in March, as long as economic data on jobs and inflation holds up. Fred Katayama reports.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank is set to raise interest rates this month. Speaking in Chicago, she said the Fed will continue lifting them further later this year and in 2018 if the economic data continue to come in strong. Yellen's speech barely budged markets. And that's because the March rate hike has been already priced-in after other Fed speakers had hinted on it earlier this week. RegentAtlantic research director Andy Kapyrin: SOUNDBITE: ANDY KAPYRIN, DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH, REGENTATLANTIC, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The probability is quite high, seventy percent, even as high as ninety percent, really. The only U.S. economic news that we have left between now and the day of the meeting is the important jobs report. As long as we deliver, I'd say, six figures of job growth, I don't think Janet Yellen, or the rest of the committee, will have any reason not to raise rates." The Fed raised interest rates for only the second time in a decade at its policy meeting last December. It meets again on March 14th. The next jobs report is scheduled for March 10th. Inflation data on Wednesday showed consumer prices in January posted their biggest monthly gain in four years. It left the indicator just below the Fed's two percent target.