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Fed likely to raise interest rates this month

From Mortgage Professional America:

Portland Mortgage RatesThe chairwoman of the Federal Reserve said today that conditions were looking favorable for the Fed to start raising its benchmark interest rate this month.

“The economy has come a long way toward the (Federal Open Market Committee’s) objectives of maximum employment and price stability,” Yellen said during a speech to the Economic Club of Washington.

Yellen said that when the Fed decided to raise rates, it would be “a testament, also, to how far our economy has come in recovering from the effects of the financial crisis and the Great Recession,” according to a New York Times report.

“It is a day I expect we are all looking forward to,” she said.

Yellen stressed that the Fed expected to raise rates slowly because of the still-weak economy, the Times reported. And she said that a final decision wouldn’t be made until the Fed’s policy-making committee met on Dec. 15 and 16.

But it appears that Fed officials have decided that the economy is strong enough to raise the benchmark rate, which has been held near zero for nearly seven years. Most investors and analysts predict that the Fed will raise the rate to a range of 0.25% to 0.5%, the Times reported.

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