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[WATCH] Treasury Secretary Yellen Says There’s Still a Path to Avoid a Recession

[WATCH] Treasury Secretary Yellen Says There’s Still a Path to Avoid a Recession

While the U.S. economic growth is slowing and Democrats have acknowledged there may be the risk of a recession, both President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen believe it’s still not inevitable.

The national unemployment rate remained at a startlingly low number despite the hikes in prices for goods and services as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine slowing the global economy. The Biden administration’s latest jobs report showed a robust 372,000 jobs created and the unemployment rate holding at 3.6%. June was the fourth straight month of job gains in excess of 350,000.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

New data last week suggested the labor market was softening with claims for unemployment benefits hitting their highest point in eight months. Sec. Yellen said that inflation “is way too high” and recent Fed rate hikes were helping to bring soaring prices back in check. At the same time, gas prices have fallen steadily every day for well over a month.

Sec. Yellen also hopes the central bank can cool the economy enough to bring down prices without triggering a broad economic downturn as the country heads into the 2022 midterms as well as the fall and winter holiday shopping seasons.

U.S. GDP shrank at a 1.6% annual rate in the first quarter, and a report on Thursday is expected to show a gain of just 0.4% in the second quarter, according to economists. Sec. Yellen said that even if U.S. second-quarter figures are negative, that would not signal that a recession has taken hold, given the strength in the job market and strong demand.

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