WASHINGTON—An upbeat Janet Yellen at a private luncheon on Thursday told Senate Democrats the U.S. economy is strong.
Ms. Yellen conveyed that “things are going well” for the economy, unemployment is low, but some people are still hurting, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) told reporters after emerging from the luncheon Thursday afternoon. “She feels the economy is strong, a lot is good,” he said.
The congressional meeting comes one day after the Fed’s most recent policy meeting, when the central bank said it would be patient before raising short-term interest rates. In its postmeeting policy statement, Fed officials upgraded their assessment of U.S. economic output, but expressed some caution about low inflation and the international backdrop.
Ms. Yellen will deliver her official semiannual testimony to lawmakers in the weeks ahead. She has met regularly with Republicans and Democrats behind closed doors in the year since she became the central bank’s chief. Fed leaders also attend party lunches from time to time in Congress.
“She went through the issues of unemployment and inflation. Very positive. And economic growth numbers were good, have been good. There’s work to be done,” Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) said after the luncheon.
Fed officials have signaled they expect to raise short-term interest rates later this year as U.S. unemployment declines.