Yellen: US rates could go up 'at some point this year'

Yellen Image copyright Reuters

The chair of the US Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, said she expects the central bank to begin raising interest rates "at some point this year".

She said delaying the long-awaited move would pose risks to the economy.

The US economy is likely to recover from a slow start to this year and if it does, rates could go up, she said.

However, she added that the economy still showed some room for improvement, with some unemployment not factored into the 5.5% jobless rate.

In spite of this, a rate rise would take time to affect the economy, and raising rates this year would still allow some recovery in jobs, she said in speech at the Providence Chamber of Commerce, Rhode Island.

A majority of Fed officials viewed a rate rise in June as "unlikely" according to minutes from their April meeting released on Wednesday.

But a "few" policymakers thought economic data may support a hike in interest rates, that statement said.

Rates have been at record lows since December 2008.

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