Treasury Secretary Says US Deficit Will Fall to ‘An Acceptable Level’ by End of 2022


US inflation levels are not expected to decrease to acceptable levels until the latter part of 2022, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday.

The prediction comes as rising prices strain Americans’ wallets at grocery stores and fuel pumps amid high energy demand, already exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc on the economy. Asked when she expects inflation — which was 5.4% at the end of September — to get back to the 2% range considered acceptable, Yellen told CNN’s Jake Tapper that it would be the middle to the second half of 2022.

Along with rising inflation, 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in August — a record number as the supply chain of everyday goods faces an ongoing bottleneck at US ports, fueled in part by the worker shortage. At the end of August, there were 10.4 million job openings, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report.

Secretary Yellen attempted to downplay growing concerns over rising inflation, saying she doesn’t believe the Biden Administration is losing control over inflation. She also pushed back against criticism from former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, who has been ringing the alarm on inflation rates and spending.

“I think he’s wrong, I don’t think we’re about to lose control of inflation,” she said, although she agreed that the US is going through a period of inflation that is higher than before. “It’s something that’s obviously a concern and worrying them, but we haven’t lost control.”

Watch Secretary Yellen’s conversation with Jake Tapper, below.

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