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Yellen: Interest Rates Low, Economy Weak [AUDIO]

Speaking to a Joint Economic Committee of Congress on Wednesday, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said the U.S. economy is improving, but areas like hiring and housing are still lagging.

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Fed Chair Janet Yellen
Mark Wilson, Getty Images

Yellen said the job market is, in her words, “far from satisfactory.”

Rider University economics professor Maury Randall said as a result, the Fed wants “to maintain low interest rates, and they still see economic weakness.”

Randall said, however, that this is good news for those looking to borrow money.

“They plan to continue to maintain this low interest rate policy for an extended period of time,” he said.

On the downside, Randall said, housing prices are likely to rise, and that will not help first-time home buyers.

The Fed has been keeping those short-term interest rates at a record low, near zero, since the end of 2008. As it stands right now, those low rates may maintain the status quo into 2015 or 2016.

In her remarks, Yellen also cautioned that geopolitical tensions, a renewal of financial stress in emerging markets and a faltering housing recovery pose potential threats.

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