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Marketplace Morning Report

Janet Yellen isn’t ready to raise interest rates

David Gura Mar 18, 2015
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Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and Fed policy makers wrapped up a two-day meeting in Washington D.C. today. Investors were hoping Yellen would provide a few clues about when the Fed might raise interest rates.

Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall-Genzer, who attended Yellen’s press briefing following the meeting, reports that the Fed is willing to move, but cautiously.  

“If the Fed waits too long you could have undesirable things like deflation kick in that are a lot harder to correct once they’ve started,” Genzer says. “On the other hand, you don’t want to do things too quickly because that could throw us back into a recession.”   

So, for now, interest rates will stay the same. But what’s the magic unemployment number that might get Yellen to consider an uptick in interest rates?

“…Unemployment needs to be even lower, between 5 percent and 5.2 percent,” Genzer says. 

Yellen didn’t completely rule out an interest-rate hike in April, “but she’s really trying not to spook the markets. She refuses to be pinned down on timing,” Genzer says.  

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