NEW YORK, April 16 Federal Reserve Chair Janet
Yellen said on Wednesday the U.S. central bank would need to
stay alert in case the economy, and inflation, do not behave as
"We will have to watch unfolding evidence and evaluate it
with an open mind and very carefully in the months ahead to make
the assessments that will be necessary," Yellen told the
Economic Club of New York in answer to a question.
Yellen reiterated her expectation that the presence of an
unusually high number of long-term unemployed would keep
wage-related price pressures in check as the jobs market
strengthened, but said the Fed cannot afford to hold to a fixed
"There can be surprises," she said. "One of the surprises
that we could see - I wouldn't rule out, it's not what I think
is most likely - but would not rule out the possibility that
inflation could rise to levels where we would need to address it
before we might expect at this point."
"That is something that we will be quite attentive to."
(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer and Walden Siew; Writing by Tim
Ahmann; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)