NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen spoke on Capitol Hill Thursday and addressed several topics pertinent to the U.S. economy. Among the topics she addressed, the economic outlook for monetary policy.
"The stance of monetary policy has supported improvement in the labor market this year, along with the return of inflation towards the FOMC's 2% objective," Yellen told Congress.
At the FOMC's September meeting the committee decided to leave the Federal Funds range within 0.25% to 0.50%, adding that the case was mounting for an increase. However, they waited for further signs of "continued progress towards its objectives," Yellen said.
"At our meeting earlier this month the committee judged that the case for an increase in the target range had continued to strengthen," she noted.
Such an increase could happen "relatively soon" should upcoming data provide additional evidence supporting the "progress" of the FOMC's goals.
"This judgment recognizes that progress in the labor market has continued and that economic activity has picked up from the modest pace seen in the first half of this year," Yellen stated. "And inflation, while still below the committee's 2% objective, has increase somewhat since earlier this year."
Yellen affirmed that waiting for further support does not indicate "a lack of confidence in the economy."
Instead, with the unemployment rate remaining steady, "despite above trend job gains," and inflation continuing to pace below its target, "the committee judged that there was somewhat more room for the labor market to improve," Yellen contended.
"The FOMC continues to expect that the evolution of the economy will warrant only gradual increases in the Federal Funds rate overtime to achieve and maintain max employment and price stability," Yellen said.