Janet Yellen just made an unsettling admission about the economy

It didn't take long for Janet Yellen to rid investors of that rare feeling of predictability from the Fed.

"The data have not notably strengthened," the Federal Reserve Chair said during her press conference on Wednesday after the central bank raised interest rates for just the third time since the financial crisis. This hike was one of the least surprising to markets, with traders pricing in a full 100% chance that it would take place.

The Fed chair just killed that kind of confidence for any move going forward. Yellen was talking about the lack of economic progress since the Fed's last meeting in January. She went further though, saying that the Fed doesn't see any evidence that the optimism of a record-breaking stock market has made its way into spending by companies or people.

14 PHOTOS
13 US housing markets that would be most affected by rising interest rates
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13 US housing markets that would be most affected by rising interest rates

13. Austin, Texas

Zillow Home Value Index: $263,400

Monthly mortgage payment at 4%: $1,006

Monthly mortgage payment at 5%: $1,131

Difference in monthly mortgage payment: $125

Source: Zillow

12. Riverside, California

Zillow Home Value Index: $321,200

Monthly mortgage payment at 4%: $1,227

Monthly mortgage payment at 5%: $1,380

Difference in monthly mortgage payment: $153

Source: Zillow

(Davel5957 via Getty Images)

11. Sacramento, California

Zillow Home Value Index: $355,000

Monthly mortgage payment at 4%: $1,356

Monthly mortgage payment at 5%: $1,525

Difference in monthly mortgage payment: $169

Source: Zillow

10. Portland, Oregon

Zillow Home Value Index: $357,000

Monthly mortgage payment at 4%: $1,363

Monthly mortgage payment at 5%: $1,533

Difference in monthly mortgage payment: $170

Source: Zillow

(AndreyGatash via Getty Images)

9. Denver

Zillow Home Value Index: $356,900

Monthly mortgage payment at 4%: $1,363

Monthly mortgage payment at 5%: $1,532

Difference in monthly mortgage payment: $169

Source: Zillow

8. Washington, DC

Zillow Home Value Index: $380,900

Monthly mortgage payment at 4%: $1,455

Monthly mortgage payment at 5%: $1,636

Difference in monthly mortgage payment: $181

Source: Zillow

(sborisov via Getty Images)

7. New York City

Zillow Home Value Index: $404,800

Monthly mortgage payment at 4%: $1,546

Monthly mortgage payment at 5%: $1,738

Difference in monthly mortgage payment: $192

Source: Zillow

6. Seattle

Zillow Home Value Index: $413,900

Monthly mortgage payment at 4%: $1,581

Monthly mortgage payment at 5%: $1,778

Difference in monthly mortgage payment: $197

Source: Zillow

(aiisha5 via Getty Images)


 

5. Boston

Zillow Home Value Index: $413,900

Monthly mortgage payment at 4%: $1,581

Monthly mortgage payment at 5%: $1,778

Difference in monthly mortgage payment: $197

Source: Zillow

(SeanPavonePhoto via Getty Images)

4. San Diego

Zillow Home Value Index: $530,900

Monthly mortgage payment at 4%: $2,028

Monthly mortgage payment at 5%: $2,280

Difference in monthly mortgage payment: $252

Source: Zillow

(marlenka via Getty Images)

3. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California

Zillow Home Value Index: $595,700

Monthly mortgage payment at 4%: $2,275

Monthly mortgage payment at 5%: $2,558

Difference in monthly mortgage payment: $283

Source: Zillow

(Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

2. San Francisco

Zillow Home Value Index: $833,600

Monthly mortgage payment at 4%: $3,184

Monthly mortgage payment at 5%: $3,580

Difference in monthly mortgage payment: $396

Source: Zillow

(Ershov_Maks via Getty Images)

1. San Jose, California

Zillow Home Value Index: $970,000

Monthly mortgage payment at 4%: $3,705

Monthly mortgage payment at 5%: $4,166

Difference in monthly mortgage payment: $461

Source: Zillow

(Nancy Nehring via Getty Images)

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Investors are desperately seeking clarity on the timing of future rate increases, and they will now be left to speculate as to whether May, June or September will bring the next move. Much hangs on US President Donald Trump's ability to push through a promised agenda of tax cuts and infrastructure spending, which has fueled Wall Street benchmark's higher. The early reception of the Trump/House Republican healthcare plan is hardly encouraging.

The Fed has a lot of wiggle room, though. US inflation continues to run below its target and is expected to do so for the foreseeable future. Another reason not to rush the next hike: the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow indicator has just slipped rather sharply in a matter of weeks from 2.5% for the first quarter to just 0.9%.

ATLFedFederal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

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SEE ALSO: Janet Yellen seems to be giving up on one of the Fed's most important goals

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