New Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen promised Conress a steady and consistent course forward, with less money-printing but continued low rates. In her first public remarks since taking over for Ben Bernanke, the former head of the San Francisco Fed sounded optimistic about the economy, including projections about unemployment and inflation. "The economic recovery gained greater traction in the second half of last year," Yellen told the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday. While she pointed out the various gains the economy has made in reducing unemployment, she said the current rate of 6.6 percent is "well above levels" that the Fed finds "consistent with maximum sustainable employment." Yellen also noted recent upset in the financial markets along with two straight months of weak jobs numbers. "We have been watching closely the recent volatility in global financial markets," she said. "Our sense is that at this stage these developments do not pose a substantial risk to the U.S. economic outlook. We will, of course, continue to monitor the situation." Yellen's speech comes as the U.S. central bank is looking to chart a course past its historically easy monetary policy. Faced with an economy in recession and a financial system at the verge of collapse, the Fed in late 2008 began buying bonds in order to inject liquidity and to assure markets that it stood at the ready to backstop weakness.