NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Wednesday said she is more worried in the near term about inflation running under the central bank's 2% target than jumping above it.

Speaking to the Economic Club of New York, an attendee asked Yellen if the Fed would raise the federal funds rate above the rate of inflation if it climbed above 2.5%.

Yellen responded by saying that the greater risk is running below the central bank's 2% inflation target, but the central banker added that this doesn't mean she believes it will happen.

The Fed chair said the Federal Open Market Committee would stand ready to adjust the pace of economic stimulus as warranted in case the economic outlook changed "materially."

"New Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech to the Economic Club of New York today was perhaps a little less dovish than her comments over the past month," Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a research note.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

>Contact by Email.

Follow @JoeDeaux