The Federal Reserve will rely most heavily on its power to pay interest on reserves, rather than asset sales, when the time arrives to tighten monetary policy, though those actions are unlikely for quite a while, a top Fed official said Monday.

Given the still-weak economy and some inflationary pressures, "this is not the time to be removing monetary stimulus," Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President Janet Yellen said. "When the day comes to start raising rates again, we have tools at the ready. But, for the time being, the economy still needs the support of extraordinarily low rates," she said.

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