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Yellen’s Speech Signals Coming Rate Hike Later This Month

Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen

The Federal Reserve is strongly considering an interest rate move this month should employment and inflation numbers hold up, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said Friday during a public address in Chicago.

Investors awaited her speech in anticipation, hanging on to any clues that would solidify the move, the Wall Street Journal reports. Experts said the chances of a rate hike this month rose to at least 66% after strong inflation reports, and should the economy continue to progress Yellen said "further adjustment of the federal funds rate would likely be appropriate." 

In addition, numerous Fed officials have indicated they are seriously considering taking action. New York Fed President William Dudley earlier this week said there is a compelling case for raising rates, and San Francisco Fed President John Williams agreed.

The Fed Governors will meet March 14 and March 15 to deliberate further. Should the move go through, this will be the first quarter-point move of the year, following December's 0.25% move.