Janet Yellen, taking charge as Federal Reserve chairman, let lawmakers know she’s united with her policy committee and sees few risks that could derail a plan to steadily reduce the Fed’s bond purchases.
As Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke shuts the door to his office for a final time in two days, he can say he took actions that were the first or the biggest of their kind in the central bank’s 100-year history. Some will probably also be the last.
The global economic expansion is speeding up, data this week are projected to show. In the U.S., a gain in fourth-quarter gross domestic product probably completed the strongest six months of growth in almost two years for the world’s largest economy. The pickup combined with progress in the labor market means Federal Reserve policy makers meeting this week may ease up again on the monetary accelerator.
Julia Coronado, chief economist for North America at BNP Paribas in New York, said the U.S. jobless rate will probably remain higher than 8 percent until the Nov. 6 presidential election and is more likely to rise than to fall.