WASHINGTON May 7 Federal Reserve Chair Janet
Yellen said the central bank will continue to provide a high
degree of monetary policy accommodation, and cited geo-political
turmoil and weak housing data as risks to the U.S. economy.
Yellen, speaking to the congressional Joint Economic
Committee on Wednesday, also indicated concerns over investors
exerting risky behavior given the extended period of low
"Some reach-for-yield behavior may be evident," Yellen said
in her prepared testimony, pointing to the lower-rated corporate
debt markets as an example.
Yellen added that issuance of syndicated leverage loans and
high-yield bonds has expanded, while underwriting standards
loosened, though she said that these increases appear modest -
particularly at large banks and life insurers.
The Fed chief repeated the view of the Federal Open Market
Committee that despite the expected U.S. economic growth,
considerable slack in the labor markets and low inflation
warrants a "high degree of monetary accommodation."
Last month the Fed reduced its monthly bond purchases to $45
billion from $55 billion.
(Reporting by Michael Flaherty; Editing by Paul Simao)