"I think we'll see stronger growth this year," Yellen said in the interview, released online ahead of the Time edition's Jan. 20 publishing date. "Most of my colleagues on the Fed's policymaking committee and I are hopeful that the first digit (of GDP growth) could be 3 rather than 2."
U.S. gross domestic product growth has averaged 2.6 percent through the first three quarters of 2013, but appears to have gathered momentum in the second half the year.
Yellen, who will succeed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on Feb. 1, also said she believes that the persistently low level of inflation, a worry for policy-makers, will pick up.
"The recovery has been frustratingly slow, but we're making progress in getting people back to work, and I anticipate that inflation will move back toward our longer-run goal of 2 percent," she said.