2. SOUNDBITE (English): Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve Chair:
"Vulnerabilities in the global economy also remain. Although concerns about slowing growth in China and falling commodity prices appear to have eased from earlier this year, China continues to face considerable challenges as it rebalances its economy toward domestic demand and consumption and away from export-led growth. More generally, in the current environment of sluggish growth, low inflation, and already very accommodative monetary policy in many advanced economies, investor perceptions of and appetite for risk can change abruptly. One development that could shift investor sentiment is the upcoming referendum in the United Kingdom. A U.K. vote to exit the European Union could have significant economic repercussions. For all of these reasons, the Committee is closely monitoring global economic and financial developments and their implications for domestic economic activity, labor markets, and inflation.'
The chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve says that the upcoming vote in Britain over leaving the European Union "could have significant economic repercussions."
In delivering a twice-a-year economic report to Congress on Tuesday, Janet Yellen highlighted Thursday's British vote as a key source of uncertainty that would require the central bank to proceed cautiously as it looks to lift interest rates to more normal levels.
The Fed had until recently been expected to raise rates again in June, following a first hike in December since before the global financial crisis, but held off amid weaker economic data and concern over the British vote.
Some private economists believe the central bank might raise rates at its next meeting on July 26-27 - if markets are not roiled by Britain's vote.