Janet Yellen regrets saying that inflation would be a "transitory" problem

 March 15, 2024

The Labor Department released its producer price index (CPI) figures this week, and they showed that inflation grew far quicker than expected last month.

That fact led a major Biden White House official to all but admit that she's guilty of misleading Americans on the issue. 

Treasury secretary regrets saying inflation "was transitory"

According to Fox Business, the tacit acknowledgment came from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during an interview with the news network on Wednesday.

As they spoke, host Edward Lawrence recalled how Yellen claimed in 2021 that inflation was a transitory problem that would soon subside.

"I regret saying it was transitory [inflation]. It has come down, but I think transitory means a few weeks or months to most people. And it's lasted longer than that," the Treasury secretary told Lawrence.

Inflation hit its highest level in decades following Yellen's remarks

Fox Business quoted Yellen as saying at the time, "We have in recent months seen some inflation, and we — at least on a year-over-year basis — will continue, I believe through the rest of the year, to see higher inflation rates, maybe around 3 percent."

However, the senior administration official was quick to add, "But I personally believe that this represents transitory factors."

Fox Business noted how Yellen's expectations were not borne out by reality, as inflation surged to 9.1% within a year of her remarks. That represented the sharpest jump America has seen in decades.

Yet despite the shortcomings of her previous prediction, Yellen nevertheless attempted to paint a rosy economic picture.

Poll shows approval of Biden's economic record has hit a new low

"Most forecasters believe we're on a path where inflation will come down over time," she said, adding, "The single biggest contributor to inflation is housing costs."

"And, we can see when we look at the market for new rental apartments, that in many parts of the country, rental prices for new apartments have actually declined, overall, flat to slightly down," Yellen insisted.

"It takes a while for that to filter into the CPI. And so, I have every expectation that the single largest contributor to inflation is going to be moving down over this," the Treasury secretary concluded.

Still, a Financial Times poll released last weekend found that approval of how President Joe Biden is handling the economy has fallen to just 36%.

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