President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen say that a U.S. recession is not inevitable, dismissing the concerns of many economists who have predicted an upcoming recession. In addition, Biden insisted that the U.S. will “overcome this inflation” while Yellen admitted that “inflation is unacceptably high.”
Biden: U.S. Recession Isn’t Inevitable
President Joe Biden reiterated to reporters Monday in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, that a U.S. recession is not “inevitable.”
Asking Biden about a potential recession, a reporter said, “Economists are saying that a recession is more likely than ever.”
The president quickly interrupted the reporter by saying: “Not the majority. Come on, don’t make things up.” Biden added: “Now you sound like a Republican politician. I’m joking. That was a joke, that was a joke.”
Stating that “all kidding aside,” the president continued:
No, I don’t think it is. I was talking to Larry Summers this morning, there’s nothing inevitable about a recession.
Biden referenced the conversation he claimed to have had with former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, who said on NBC Sunday: “My best guess is a recession is ahead.”
Summers explained his recession forecast: “I base that on the fact that we haven’t had a situation like the present, with inflation above 4% and unemployment beyond 4% without a recession following within a year or two. And so, I think the likelihood is that in order to do what’s necessary to stop inflation, the Fed is going to raise interest rates enough that the economy will slip into a recession.”
This was not the first time Biden dismissed concerns that a U.S. recession is coming. In an interview with the Associated Press after the Federal Reserve announced the biggest rate hike since 1994 last week, he opined:
First of all, it’s not inevitable. Secondly, we’re in a stronger position than any nation in the world to overcome this inflation.
Yellen Expects U.S. Economy to Slow but Claims Recession Is Not at All Inevitable
Sharing Biden’s optimism about the U.S. economy is Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. She told ABC News on Sunday that the recession which many Americans fear is not “at all imminent.”
“I expect the economy to slow, it’s been growing at a very rapid rate as the economy, as the labor market has recovered and we have reached full employment. It’s natural now that we expect to transition to steady and stable growth,” Yellen said, emphasizing:
But I don’t think a recession is at all inevitable.
Nonetheless, the treasury secretary stressed: “Clearly, inflation is unacceptably high.”
Yellen also said at The Times’ Dealbook D.C. policy forum early this month that “There’s nothing to suggest a recession is in the works.”