WASHINGTON (TheStreet) -- Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Wednesday said the economy will expand at a faster clip this year than in 2013.

Addressing the Joint Economic Committee in Washington, Yellen attributed expected stronger gains to Congress' reduced influence following last year's government shutdown and sequestration, a boost in household net worth due to rising home prices and improving conditions and Europe and elsewhere.

The chair offered no change in the central bank's expectation to raise the main interest rate, reiterating that the Fed's policy-making committee would keep rates low for a "considerable" time after it ends the economic stimulus program.

Yellen in March surprised markets during a press conference when she said the federal funds rate could increase as early as six months after the end of quantitative easing. Investors didn't expect the comment as Yellen and former Chairman Ben Bernanke typically refrain from giving specific timelines on forward looking monetary policy.

The prepared testimony delivered no shocks and is unlikely to stir market participants. Investors will be keeping an ear out for Yellen's answers to politicians' queries.

>>Read More: Janet Yellen Addresses Joint Economic Committee of Congress: Live Blog

-- Written by Joe Deaux in Washington D.C.

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