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Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's remarks were made in testimony prepared for an appearance before the Joint Economic Committee on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen indicated Thursday that she sees little danger of the central bank waiting too long to raise interest rates, although she also hinted that a hike in the Fed’s target could be in store as early as next month.

“The risk of falling behind the curve in the near future appears limited,” Yellen claimed, meaning that she sees little risk of the Fed’s monetary policy sparking too-high inflation.

Yellen also said, however, that a rate hike would likely be warranted “relatively soon,” based on the economic data.

Yellen’s remarks were made in testimony prepared for an appearance before the Joint Economic Committee on Capitol Hill later Thursday morning. They were the first substantive remarks the Fed chief had made in over a month.

Prior to Yellen’s appearance, investors appeared nearly certain that the central bank would resume tightening monetary policy at its next meeting in December. Bond market prices indicated greater than 90 percent odds of a 0.25 percentage point short-term interest rate increase, with more to follow.

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