Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen speaks about the Federal Reserve's semiannual report during a hearing of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill February 14, 2017 in Washington, DC.
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By Aric Jenkins
March 15, 2017

Chairwoman Janet Yellen sought to justify the Federal Reserve’s interest hike on Wednesday during a press conference in which she said the decision sends a “simple message” to consumers that the economy is “doing well.”

“We have confidence in the robustness of the economy and its resilience to shocks. It’s performed well over the last several years,” Yellen told reporters. “We’ve created since the trough in employment after the financial crisis, around 16 million jobs. The unemployment rate has moved way down. And many more people feel optimistic about their prospects in the labor market. There’s job security.”

Earlier in the day, the central bank announced an increase to its benchmark interest rate, the second interest hike in three months and third overall since the financial crisis of the late 2000s. The Fed additionally suggested that two more interest hikes are on the way in 2017, but Yellen maintained her confidence in the American economy.

“We’re operating in an environment where the U.S. economy is performing well. And we seem pretty balanced. So, I think people can feel good about the economic outlook,” she said.

Read a full transcript of Yellen’s press conference below.

 

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