Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and her colleagues have lowered their sights on how fast the economy needs to expand to meet their goal of cutting unemployment.
No longer are they saying growth must accelerate from the 2 percent to 2.5 percent pace it has generally averaged since the recession ended. Instead, they are stressing the importance of preventing the expansion from faltering.
Exhibit number one: the Fed chief herself. Yellen said on April 16 that a key question facing the central bank is what “may be pushing the recovery off track.” Contrast that with her comments on March 4, 2013, of the importance of seeing “a convincing pickup in growth.”