Janet Yellen warns inflation decline might not be ‘smooth’


EXCLUSIVE: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Wednesday that inflation could face a bumpy return to normal after back-to-back reports showed that price pressures within the U.S. economy rebounded at the start of the year.

In a sit-down interview with FOX Business’ Edward Lawrence, Yellen pushed back against stagflation concerns and maintained that progress on inflation has not stalled.

“I wouldn’t expect this to be a smooth path month to month, but the trend is clearly favorable,” she said. “That said, President Biden’s top priority is addressing the issue of high costs that concerns so many Americans.”

Prices for everything including groceries, new cars and health insurance surged in 2021 and 2022 as the result of rampant inflation, which was caused by pandemic-induced disruptions in the global supply chain, an extremely tight labor market and increased consumer demand fueled in part by stimulus cash. 

While inflation has fallen considerably from a peak of 9.1% notched during June 2022, it remains above the Federal Reserve’s 2% goal. And when compared with January 2021, shortly before the inflation crisis began, prices are up a stunning 18.49%. 

High inflation has created severe financial pressures for most U.S. households, which are forced to pay more for everyday necessities like food and rent. The burden is disproportionately borne by low-income Americans, whose already-stretched paychecks are heavily affected by price fluctuations.

Consumers shop at a home improvement store

“I don’t think we’re going to see stagflation,” Yellen said. “Most forecasters believe we’re on a path where inflation will come down over time.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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