Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen acknowledged that the fall in inflation this year was a bit of a “mystery” but suggested that the central bank was on course to raise interest rates again in 2017 nonetheless.
She told reporters on Wednesday that the economy was robust enough to withstand further rate increases and an imminent reduction in the Fed’s $4.5 trillion balance sheet, as it exits from a crisis-era policy a decade after the onset of the Great Recession.
“We continue to expect that the ongoing strength of the economy will warrant gradual increases” in rates, she told a press conference after the Federal Open Market Committee announced that it will slowly begin to pare its bond holdings next month. As expected, the target range for the federal funds rate was held at 1 percent to 1.25 percent.
The central bank’s intention to press ahead with another rate hike this year