WASHINGTON — Janet L. Yellen, the Federal Reserve chairwoman, highlighted the continued strength of job growth in an upbeat report to Congress Wednesday on the state of the American economy.
The economy added 180,000 jobs per month during the first half of 2017, about the same pace as the first half of last year, even as the unemployment rate fell back to a pre-recession level.
In light of the continued growth, the Fed intends to keep on raising its benchmark interest rate and to reduce its investment holdings, Ms. Yellen said in prepared testimony. She did not offer new information about the timing of the Fed’s next steps. Analysts expect the Fed to start shaving its bond portfolio in September.
“Looking ahead, my colleagues on the F.O.M.C. and I expect that, with further gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, the economy will continue to expand at a moderate pace over the next couple of years,” Ms. Yellen said, referring to the Federal Open Market Committee.