Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, to testify before the House Financial Services Committee hearing. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
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New Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen Tuesday made it clear she would not make any abrupt changes to U.S. monetary policy, saying the central bank was on track to keep reducing its stimulus even though the labor market recovery was "far from complete".In her first public comments as chief, Yellen said the Fed would need to keep its eye on the number of long-term unemployed Americans and those working only part-time but who want a full-time job, as it begins to plot a tricky reversal of it very accommodative policy stance.While the U.S. unemployment rate has fallen by 1.5 percentage points since the latest bond-buying program began in September of 2012, at 6.6 percent the rate remains "well above levels" the Fed sees as consistent with maximum sustainable employment, Yellen said.She said, however, the purchases were not on a pre-set course, repeating the Fed's policy line.And she reinforced the central bank's expectation that inflation, while low now, will rise back toward the Fed's 2-percent goal.Yellen said the Fed was watching the recent market volatility closely.The Fed will not let inflation run "persistently above or below" its 2 percent goal, she added.
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