US Fed chair Yellen to step down once successor swears in

Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen speaks during a news conference after a two-day Federal Open Markets Committee policy meeting in Washington

Yellen submitted her resignation Monday, effective when her successor is sworn in, providing President Trump another seat to fill on the central bank's board. Her term as Chair expires on February 3, 2018.

"As I prepare to leave the board, I am gratified that the financial system is much stronger than a decade ago, better able to withstand future bouts of instability and continue supporting the economic aspirations of American families and businesses", she wrote in a November 20 resignation letter to President Donald Trump. Yellen also promised a smooth transition to Powell, Trump's nominee for Fed chair. He will have a confirmation hearing next week before the Senate Banking Committee, but no vote on his nomination has been scheduled. Instead she'll follow the practice of previous Fed leaders and leave the board once Powell becomes chairman.

Dr. Yellen is Professor Emerita at the University of California at Berkeley, where she has been a member of the faculty since 1980.

The decision comes less than three weeks after President Donald Trump broke with tradition to replace Ms Yellen rather than name her for another four-year term.

Media reports said last week Trump was considering appointing Allianz economic advisor Mohamed El-Erian as a Fed vice-chair.

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Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will leave the central bank entirely next year.

The economy "by most metrics, is close to achieving the Federal Reserve's statutory objectives of maximum employment and price stability", she wrote to Trump, a Republican. She also serves as Chair of the Federal Open Market Committee, the System's principal monetary policymaking body.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-New York, praised Yellen for successfully navigating "one of the most challenging economic periods we have seen in generations". Trump has nominated Jerome Powell for the top job.

Powell, a lawyer by training, will be the first official without an advanced degree in economics to head up the central bank in four decades.

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