Yellen: ‘I don’t see signs of a recession’
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday said she does not see signs of a recession after the Commerce Department released data showing the economy rebounded in the third quarter of the year.
Speaking on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” in Ohio, Yellen said that “what we’re seeing right now is solid growth this quarter” in the economy and low unemployment across the workforce.
“It’s very natural that growth would slow. And it has over the first three quarters of this year, but it continues to be OK,” she said. “We have a very strong labor market. I don’t see signs of a recession in this economy at this point.”
On Thursday, data from the Commerce Department showed U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annualized rate of 2.6 percent between July and September, a healthy sign after six months of a shrinking economy.
Still, much of the growth in third quarter GDP was driven by a surge in exports, and some leading economists are not expecting growth to continue later this year or early next year.
With inflation at a 40-year high, the Biden administration has been on the defensive during an election year, repeatedly listing other indicators of a strong economy such as high job growth and healthy consumer spending to indicate a recession is not on the horizon.
But economists and business executives have pointed to the fact the Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates dramatically this year in an effort to curb inflation, which could potentially cut into the job market and other healthy areas of the economy.
Sixty-three percent of economists believe a recession will occur within the next year, according to a Wall Street Journal survey, and the United Nations has warned of a global recession that would create further challenges for the U.S.
On Thursday, Yellen said inflation is “unacceptably high and Americans feel that every day” but stressed the economy was not performing poorly and the administration was not getting credit for fending off worse outcomes for American families.
“This is not an economy that’s in recession and we continue to do well,” the Treasury secretary told CNN. “There were several problems that we could have had, and difficulties many families American families could have faced.
“These are problems we don’t have, because of what the Biden administration has done,” she added. “So, often one doesn’t get credit for problems that don’t exist.”