Yellen: Recovery 'increasingly broad based' in both U.S. and worldwide

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[November 29, 2017]  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A strengthening U.S. economy will warrant continued interest rate increases, Fed chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday in remarks prepared for delivery to Congress, but she did not comment on the timing of when the next one might occur.

Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen speaks during a news conference after a two-day Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) policy meeting, in Washington, U.S., September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

"The economic expansion is increasingly broad based across sectors as well as across much of the global economy," Yellen said in remarks released ahead of her appearance later on Wednesday morning before the Joint Economic Committee.

With weak inflation likely to prove "transitory," she said "we continue to expect that gradual increases in the federal funds rate will be appropriate."

She did not in her prepared remarks comment on a possible December rate increase, expected by investors. Minutes of the most recent Fed meeting said "many participants" felt a rate increase would likely be warranted "in the near term."

In what may be one of her last public appearances before leaving the Fed chair, Yellen said the economy's momentum continues.

Job growth averaging 170,000 positions per month is enough to continue to absorb new and sidelined workers into the economy, and growth ticked up to a 3 percent annual rate over the last two quarters.

On a day after the stock market hit new records, Yellen said that while asset values were "high by historical standards, overall vulnerabilities in the financial sector appear moderate."

(Reporting by Howard SchneiderEditing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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