The next head of the Federal Reserve is most likely to be Janet Yellen, the powerful vice chair of the U.S. central bank, according to a poll of economists by Reuters.

Yellen, 66, is expected to succeed Ben Bernanke when his second term ends in early 2014 by 40 of 44 economists, Reuters said Wednesday.

Aside from expectations, support for Yellen was solid if not overwhelming, with 23 of 38 economists supportive of her succession to the world’s most powerful monetary position.

Among current upper-level Federal Reserve officials, Yellen stands out as a strong supporter of monetary easing to hold down interest rates.

If President Barack Obama nominates her to succeed Bernanke, it would augur a continuity of policy at the Fed.