Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speech, in Cleveland.
A hike in either September or December, which covers most expectations, is still in play after Fed Chair Janet Yellen, speaking on monetary policy and the economy, said liftoff would be "appropriate" sometime later this year. Speaking to the city club of Cleveland, Yellen said the economy's fundamentals are solid and the labor market, though not fully recovered, is improving and will continue to improve. She noted that unanticipated developments, such risks tied to Greece, could change the timing of the liftoff, possibly even accelerating it. But even after liftoff, Yellen repeated that rates will remain highly supportive of economic growth for "quite some time." Her comments on inflation are mixed, saying there are early hints of wage growth but that the strong dollar has pushed down prices of imports. Her other comments were cautious, that recovery in housing will only be gradual and the sector may still restrain growth, as may capital expenditures which are being held down by lack of business confidence. Initial reaction to the comments, where the liftoff headline is a little hawkish, has been limited.
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