(CNBC) Never underestimate the power of American consumers.
As jittery businesses and tight-fisted governments cut spending this spring, American consumers went shopping. That helped keep the U.S. economy moving ahead, but just barely.
In a closely watched speech Friday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen offered a fairly upbeat assessment of the latest data and other recent reports, pointing to the strength in consumer spending despite the overall weakness in GDP. She also noted that the job market continues to improve.
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"In light of the continued solid performance of the labor market and our outlook for economic activity and inflation, I believe the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened in recent months," Yellen said.