OAN’s Stephanie Myers
Updated: 9:16 AM – Tuesday, September 19, 2023
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Monday that she did not see any signs of the U.S. economy entering a recession, citing the strong labor market, cooling inflation, and robust consumer spending as reasons for her forecast.
“I don’t see any signs that the economy is at risk of a downturn, and this is the best of all worlds to see continue strength in the economy, good strong labor market, and inflation moving down, and that is what we’re seeing,” Yellen said in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”
The most recent consumer price index report showed that inflation ticked up from 3.2% in July to 3.7% in August as the Federal Reserve continued raising interest rates to combat inflation. To date, the Fed increased rates 11 times since March 2022 to their highest level since 2001.
Core inflation, which excludes food and energy prices due to their volatility, also rose on a month-to-month basis from 0.2% in July to to 0.3% in August.
Yellen emphasized the need for Congress to pass a government funding bill in order to avert a government shutdown, which would negatively impact the economy.
“There’s absolutely no reason for a shutdown,” Yellen said. “We’ve got a good, strong economy as we just discussed and creating something that, situation that could cause a loss of momentum is something we don’t need to risk at this point.”
When asked about the historic United Autoworkers Union strike against the big three automakers, Yellen noted that it is still too early to say how this would affect the economy.
“It’s premature to be making forecasts on what it means for the economy. It would depend on how long the strike last and who’s affected by it,” Yellen remarked.
The treasury secretary noted that the two sides “need to narrow their disagreements” and negotiate a contract that benefits both workers and industries.
The strikes began Friday, September 15th, after the UAW and the “Big Three” automakers — General Motors, Stellantis, and Ford – failed to agree on a new labor contract.
Currently, the strike affects just under 13,000 workers at three auto plants, but could involve additional locations as part of UAW’s “stand up strike” plan.
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