Yellen cites housing, geo-political risk to U.S. economy

Discussion in 'Stock Market Forum' started by admin, May 7, 2014.

  1. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

    Feb 2014
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    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday the U.S. economy was still in need of lots of support from the central bank given the "considerable slack" in the labour market, and she cited weakness in the housing sector as a fresh risk.

    Even as she took note of "appreciable" improvements in the labour market, Yellen told a congressional committee a high rate of long-term unemployment and a slow rise in measures of labour compensation suggested more room for further gains.In her testimony, she said she expected the economy to expand at a "somewhat" faster pace than last year, but cited geopolitical tensions and flattening out of housing activity as risks bearing close observation.

    U.S. stocks, which had opened higher, slipped after her prepared remarks were released, while prices for U.S. government debt were little changed. The dollar rose against the euro.

    Yellen, speaking to the Joint Economic Committee, also indicated concerns over investors exerting risky behaviour given the extended period of low interest rates.

    "Some reach-for-yield behaviour may be evident," Yellen said, pointing to the lower-rated corporate debt markets as an example.

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