Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, listens during a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Ex-Fed's Yellen Sees 3-4 Rate Rises This Year, Reuters Reports

(Bloomberg) -- Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen made a paid appearance at a forum hosted by Jefferies Group where she said she expects three to four interest-rate increases this year, Reuters reported.

The event on Monday included a question-and-answer session with more than 100 Jefferies clients in which Yellen stuck close to the message of her successor, Jerome Powell, that rate hikes will be gradual, Reuters said, citing an unidentified person.

At Powell’s first meeting as Fed chairman last month, officials raised the benchmark lending rate a quarter-point and forecast a steeper path of increases in 2019 and 2020, citing an improving economic outlook. Policy makers continued to project a total of three increases this year.

Over dinner at the Manhattan apartment of Jefferies Chief Executive Officer Richard Handler, Yellen said she considers inflation to be in check so rates will stay relatively low, the news service reported, citing a second unidentified person.

Yellen, who stepped down two months ago and joined the Brookings Institution, confirmed that she was paid to attend the forum and said she discussed “the economy and general perspectives on monetary policy,” Reuters reported. Fed policy makers commonly accept paid speaking appearances after leaving their jobs.

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