WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- In her first testimony to Congress, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Tuesday she would continue to implement the monetary policy made by her predecessor, Ben Bernanke.
The current economic situation and outlook, as well as the monetary policy, will be the main focus of Yellen's first public comments since taking over the top Fed job last week.
Her assessment of the economic performance will be scrutinized for clues about whether the Fed will continue to wind down its asset purchases despite recent signs of weakness.
According to prepared text of her testimony to the Financial Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, Yellen, sworn in last week as the first woman to lead the Fed in its 100 years, said the recovery in the U.S. labor market was "far from complete" and underscored the importance of considering more than just the unemployment rate when evaluating the conditions of the labor market.
Yellen said she expected "a great deal of continuity" in the central bank's monetary policy. "I served on the committee as we formulated our current policy strategy and I strongly support that strategy," she added.
"If coming information broadly supports the Committee's expectation of ongoing improvement in labor market conditions and inflation moving back toward its long-run objective, the Committee will likely reduce the pace of asset purchases in further measured steps at future meetings," Yellen said, referring to the Fed's policy body, the Federal Open Market Committee.
Yellen, 67, is delivering the Fed's twice-a-year report to Congress a week after being sworn in to succeed Bernanke. He stepped down on Jan. 31 after eight turbulent years in which he guided the economy through the financial crisis and subsequent economic recession.
The Fed trimmed its monthly purchases of Treasury and mortgage- backed securities by 10 billion U.S. dollars in December and January respectively, citing a strengthening economy and continued improvement in the labor market.
Fed policymakers have suggested they would continue to reduce the bond buying, which now totals 65 billion dollars a month, at a similar pace at each Fed meeting and end it by the end of 2014, provided the economy develops generally in line with expectations.
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