Janet Yellen: US Fed could raise interest rates 'soon'
The chair of the US Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, has indicated that it could raise interest rates "relatively soon".
She said the job market had made further improvement this year and that inflation, while still below the Fed's 2% target, had started to pick up.
Ms Yellen's assessment was released ahead of her appearance before a Congressional Committee.
Financial markets are expecting the Fed to take action at a meeting next month.
It would be only the second increase since it cut rates to a record low during the financial crisis. In December last year, the Fed raised its benchmark rate for the first time in seven years, from near zero to its current level of between 0.25% and 0.5%.
Ms Yellen said that further delaying a rate increase would present its own risks.
BBC economics correspondent Andrew Walker says indications that President-elect Donald Trump will cut taxes and spend heavily on infrastructure make it more likely that the Fed will want to raise rates to contain inflationary pressures.
Ms Yellen will answer questions later from Congress' joint economic committee, and the session will be scrutinised for any hints of what action the central bank could announce at its meeting in mid-December.
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