Treasury Secretary: ‘Much lower’ inflation by end of 2023

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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is seen during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing to examine the President’s FY 2023 budget on Wednesday, June 8, 2022.

(NewsNation) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen believes inflation will not be as high by the end of 2023 amid the Federal Reserve’s continued strategy of rate hikes that began in March.

“I believe by the end of next year you will see much lower inflation if there’s not … an unanticipated shock,” Yellen told Norah O’Donnell during an interview that aired Sunday on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

Yellen also admitted the continued methods from the Feds to combat inflation makes the country economically vulnerable.

“There’s a risk of a recession but it certainly isn’t, in my view, something that is necessary to bring inflation down,” Yellen said.

Yellen’s admission comes as markets expect the Federal Reserve to announce its last rate hike of the year Wednesday, although Federal Reserve chair, Jerome H. Powell, hinted at dialing down the size of its rate hikes this past November.

His words seemed to still be lingering in investors’ heads Monday, as Wall Street was ticking higher to open the week: During midday trading, the S&P 500 was trending 0.6% higher, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.9% points, while the Nasdaq composite was 0.4% higher.

According to Yellen, the economy has already showed signs of improvement, as the cost of shipping, frequency of delivery delays and gasoline prices have eased.

“I am very hopeful that the labor market will — remain quite healthy — so that people can feel good about their finances and their personal economic situation,” Yellen said, adding that the country currently has a “healthy banking system” and a “healthy business and household sector.” 

However, as Yellen explains, carrying out the Fed’s current game plan means slowing down economic growth. This translates to fewer jobs, which has been evidenced in mass layoffs by tech giants like Twitter, Meta and Amazon.

“To bring down inflation — and because almost everybody who wants a job has a job — growth has to slow,” she said.

With that being said, Yellen also states the U.S. recognizes the role of Russia’s war in Ukraine on markets and is doing everything in its power to alleviate those pressures.

For example, the Russian oil price cap, which went into effect Dec. 5., aims to “suppress Russian revenue, make it more difficult for them to fight the war, and keep global prices in a moderate range, and avoid spikes,” Yellen explained.

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