Treasury chief Yellen touts GDP numbers as a boon to the middle class

WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen praised the positive economic growth numbers on Thursday as a profit for the middle class.

“Though some forecasters thought a recession final yr was inevitable, President [Joe] Biden and I didn’t,” Yellen stated in a go to to the Economic Club of Chicago. “Instead of contracting, the economic system has continued to develop, pushed by American staff and President Biden’s financial technique.”

The report launched by the Commerce Department confirmed gross domestic product grew by a seasonally adjusted annualized charge of three.3% for the previous few months of 2023; extra quickly than the Wall Street consensus estimate of two%.

Economic progress for all of 2023 additionally beat the Wall Street outlook at the begin of the yr.

The indicators are proof of “the fairest restoration on document,” stated Yellen, including that the U.S. has “averted monetary ache for many middle-class American households” due to a sturdy post-pandemic restoration with quicker aid from inflation than comparable international locations.

Consumer spending, measured by core costs for private consumption expenditures, additionally rose 2% in This autumn whereas the headline charge was 1.7%. The Federal Reserve makes use of core costs to measure longer-term inflation. The charge of inflation reached record highs in 2022.

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Yellen credited steps taken by the Biden administration to curb provide chain scarcities that led to worth will increase, together with the launch of 180 barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and a worth cap on Russian oil as the Russia-Ukraine War escalated in 2022.

“Though we’re centered on making historic investments in transitioning in direction of clear vitality in the medium-and long-term, document home oil and pure fuel manufacturing addressed our quick wants,” Yellen stated. “And vitality costs have declined, with fuel now down round $1.90 per gallon from its excessive in June 2022.”

AAA quotes the average national price for a gallon of gas at $3.10 as of Thursday.

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