Yellen on the economic outlook in Chicago:

  • March like appropriate if Fed determines that data on jobs and inflation are continuing to move in line with expectations
  • Pace of hiking this year likely to be faster than 2015 or 2016
  • Employment goal "essentially met" and inflation "moving closer" to target
  • Risks from abroad appear to have receded somewhat
  • FOMC sees risks to outlook as 'roughly balanced'
  • Full text

Translation: We're going to hike unless the data between now and March 15 is terrible.

You can watch the speech live on Bloomberg.

The key line:

"In short, we currently judge that it will be appropriate to gradually increase the federal funds rate if the economic data continue to come in about as we expect. Indeed, at our meeting later this month, the Committee will evaluate whether employment and inflation are continuing to evolve in line with our expectations, in which case a further adjustment of the federal funds rate would likely be appropriate. Nonetheless, as we have said many times--and as my discussion today demonstrates--monetary policy cannot be and is not on a preset course."


On jobs she says 75K to 125K jobs per month are plenty to keep jobless rate steady. Next Friday is the jobs report and this suggests anything in that range or higher is good enough for a hike.