The economy is getting closer to the Federal Reserve’s objectives, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Friday.
Stocks, which opened lower on the latest unrest in Ukraine, turned positive on Yellen’s comments. (Click here for the latest on the markets.)
In prepared remarks for the annual Jackson Hole policy conference, Yellen said the Fed was now questioning both the degree of remaining slack in the labor market and the timing of rate hikes relative to that slack.
Yet Yellen also said it was difficult to gauge the remaining slack in the labor market, and that internal Fed gauges of the labor market suggested the unemployment rate was overstating progress.
“It sounds to me like she’s just given herself flexibility,” said David Spika, senior vice president of Westwood Funds, in a CNBC interview. “Clearly the Fed wants to have plenty of flexibility to make changes in monetary policy based on economic growth, and specifically wages, and it doesn’t sound to me like that’s changed.”
“We think that the glide path will be one that’s measured and gradual and I heard nothing from those comments to make me think otherwise,” he added.
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