BUSINESS

Fed Chair Yellen expects key rate to stay low for 'at least' first 3 months of 2015

12/17/2014 02:59 EST | Updated 02/16/2015 05:59 EST
WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen expects the Fed to hold a key interest rate near zero for the next three months — if not longer.

After policymakers ended their December meeting, Yellen spelled out what the Fed meant in saying in a statement that it would be "patient" in deciding to raise its benchmark short-term rate, which influences many loan rates.

"The committee considers it unlikely to begin the normalization process for at least the next couple of meetings," Yellen said at a news conference.

Fed officials are to meet again in January and March of 2015, meaning that rates are likely to say ultra-low for the next three months.

Many analysts expect the Fed to raise rates from historic lows in June or September of next year.