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Yellen Makes Clear That Fed Patience on Rates Has Limits

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen restored clarity to the central bank’s monetary policy plans, saying it was on course to raise interest rates, though not right away, after officials issued a statement that some Fed-watchers found confusing.

Yellen told reporters following a two-day meeting yesterday that the Fed is likely to hold rates near zero at least through the first quarter. She also laid out the economic parameters that would need to be met for liftoff to begin later in the year and said that rates probably would be raised gradually thereafter. They may not return to more normal levels until 2017, she added.