yellen_2857431bAmerica is not expected to raise interest rates until next year, after US Federal Reserve chairman Janet Yellen said the central bank would stop using unemployment as a target to determine rate increases and set out a potential timetable for the change. The Fed has spent the past two years telling markets it will increase interest rates only once unemployment falls below 6.5pc, but on Wednesday it abandoned that target and offered a much more nuanced form of “forward guidance”. In its first press conference with Ms Yellen as chairman, the Federal Open Market Committee instead promised to “assess progress…towards its objectives of maximum employment and 2pc inflation”. It also pledged to continue to slow its bond-buying programme, saying it would cut it by $10bn to $55bn a month from April. However, the biggest news came as the Fed said it is likely to keep interest rates unchanged for a “considerable time” after it winds up its bond-buying scheme altogether. Mrs Yellen later clarified this period as around “six months”. MORE