WASHINGTON: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday that the central bank has no “fixed timetable” for raising interest rates but she believes the economy is ready for a rate increase by year’s end.

She said during an appearance before the House Financial Services Committee that when the Fed met last week, a majority of her colleagues believed it would be appropriate to raise rates before the end of this year.

The Fed boosted its key policy rate in December 2015 to a range of 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent. But since then, officials have left the rate unchanged. Yellen said she believed it would make sense to boost the rate again “if things continue on the current path and no significant new risks arise.”

Yellen was testifying on the Fed’s role in regulating the nation’s banking system, and said conditions have improved considerably since the 2008 financial crisis.