Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen repeated that the central bank is likely to maintain its strategy of gradually trimming asset purchases, even as policy makers monitor data to determine if recent weakness in the economy is temporary.
The Fed “will likely reduce the pace of asset purchases in further measured steps at future meetings,” Yellen said today in remarks prepared for delivery to the Senate Banking Committee that were identical to Feb. 11 comments she made to a House panel. She also said the bond purchases “are not on a preset course.”
Yellen’s testimony to the Senate panel, originally scheduled for Feb. 13, was postponed because of a snowstorm, creating an unusual two-week gap between her appearances before the two committees that oversee the central bank. Since her House testimony, weaker-than-forecast data on retailing, manufacturing and home construction have suggested the economy is slowing, in part because of harsh winter weather.
Deviating from her prepared text, Yellen said some recent reports have pointed to weakness that may have been caused in part by unusually harsh winter weather.