Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she is watching international developments that may have consequences for prices and economic output but reiterated her view that US inflation can ease without hurting employment.
(Bloomberg) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she is watching international developments that may have consequences for prices and economic output but reiterated her view that US inflation can ease without hurting employment.
“The administration remains committed to taking actions to lower prices for Americans where we can,” she said in remarks prepared for delivery at an event in Las Vegas Monday. “And we continue to monitor developments, particularly those abroad, that may affect prices and growth.”
“We know that progress rarely moves in a straight line. But I still believe that there is a path to continue reducing inflation while maintaining a healthy labor market,” the Treasury chief said.
Yellen argued that President Joe Biden’s economic policies have put Americans in a better place than a year ago, pointing to the drop in the annual inflation rate to 3.2% in July from a four-decade high of 9.1% in June last year. Despite the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest-rate hikes to slow price growth, unemployment has remained at a historically low 3.5%.
“The continued strength of our labor market is particularly impressive given our fight against inflation,” she said.
Read more: Yellen Makes Bidenomics Sales Pitch, Citing Real Wage Gains
Still, Americans aren’t giving Biden credit for the improvement. Indeed, many believe things are getting worse.
A July opinion survey by SSRS for CNN found 75% of respondents felt the economy was “somewhat poor” or “very poor.” Only 37% approved of the way Biden is handling the economy.
A separate YouGov poll conducted Aug. 5-8 found Biden’s approval-disapproval ratings were only marginally better than those for former President Donald Trump, who may face his fourth criminal indictment in the coming days in Fulton County, Georgia.
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