Janet YellenLike a field judge in the Olympic track and field events, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen may use her speech in Jackson Hole to start the race for a rate hike as soon as September.

Yellen will speak Friday from the Fed’s summer retreat at 10 a.m. Eastern. The subject of her remarks is “The Federal Reserve’s Monetary Policy Toolkit.”

“We see Jackson Hole as the ‘ready’ warning and look for Chair Yellen to err on looking at the optimistic side” of the outlook,” said Drew Matus, senior U.S. economist at UBS.

To be fair, Matus thinks the U.S. central bank won’t issue the “set” warning until its September meeting policy statement and then “go” at the December meeting.

But many economists think the central bank could “go” in September if the jobs data is strong.

The Labor Department has reported two strong months of employment gains — 255,000 for July and 292,000 for June.

“If the August employment report, scheduled for release on Sept. 2, is solid, then we expect the Fed to raise rates at its September meeting,” said Michael Gapen, chief U.S. economist at Barclays.

“We expect Yellen to deliver a stronger signal about the likelihood of near-term rate hike” at the Jackson Hole meeting, he added.