Yellen Unwilling to Signal Any Shift in Bank’s Plans

Encouraged by progress in the U.S. labor market, but uncertain if it is enough, the Federal Reserve Board chairwoman and other officials who gathered here for a central-bank conference left the public guessing about when they will start raising short-term interest rates.

The annual economic symposium, sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, marked an important bookend to a speech Ms. Yellen had delivered five months earlier to a conference of community organizers in Chicago.

Back then, Ms. Yellen argued with conviction that the U.S. economy was still far from what Fed officials call full employment—the highest level of hiring that can be reached without causing the economy to overheat and spark inflation.


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