Yellen’s UN week agenda: Food costs, climate change and global aid

Janet Yellen, US Treasury secretary, speaks on the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) 357 union corridor following a tour of the JATC coaching facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Monday, Aug. 14, 2023.

Ronda Churchill | Bloomberg | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen outlined an formidable agenda on Monday to deal with key components of the global financial restoration solely weeks earlier than a possible U.S. authorities shutdown over congressional funding disputes.

“We have an initiative to allow the World Bank and the opposite multilateral improvement banks to drastically increase their provision of assets and to mobilize non-public capital for climate change,” Yellen informed CNBC’s Sara Eisen in an interview.

Speaking from the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, the Treasury secretary added that Russia’s continued war with Ukraine is placing a pressure on global meals costs, particularly after its July exit from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which had allowed Ukrainian grain exports to soundly transit through Black Sea ports.

“Russia’s persevering with, brutal struggle in Ukraine is having a really antagonistic impression,” Yellen stated. “And we’re spending time this week discussing meals costs and what we will do to alleviate starvation and shortages of meals.”

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Yellen additionally stated the Biden administration is carefully monitoring fuel costs to make sure affordability for Americans. Oil costs rose to their highest level of the year final week, prompting some consultants to foretell that crude oil would possibly attain $100 a barrel by the tip of the yr.

“My expectation is that they are going to stabilize, however we’ll simply keep watch over it,” she stated of oil costs.

China’s progress after ending Covid pandemic-related lockdowns, although slower than anticipated, is a contributor to the raise in oil costs, stated Yellen. But its weakened economic system, together with Germany’s, was driving her give attention to the global economic system on the UN occasion.

The Treasury secretary additionally stated a possible U.S. authorities shutdown may danger the momentum of the home economic system, which is on the upswing, in response to latest indicators. The producer worth index in August elevated a seasonally adjusted 0.7%, the biggest single-month increase since June 2022. The core PPI stayed according to estimates.

“There’s completely no motive for a shutdown and we wish Congress to do its work of funding the federal government and holding it open,” stated Yellen. The deadline for Congress to go a seamless decision to maintain the federal government open is Sept. 30.

Yellen spoke a day after two key voting blocs within the House Republican caucus reached a tentative settlement on a partisan invoice to fund the federal government till the tip of October, in alternate for cuts to home spending and stricter border controls.

Yet inside hours of saying the deal, greater than a half-dozen far-right conservatives within the House rejected the compromise, making it tough to see a path by which such a invoice may go with solely GOP votes, given the celebration’s razor skinny majority within the House.

Despite the looming threats at house and overseas, Yellen was optimistic concerning the U.S. economic system and the American labor market.

“I do not see any indicators that the economic system is vulnerable to a downturn,” Yellen stated. “And that is one of the best of all worlds, to see continued power within the economic system, sturdy labor market and inflation shifting down. And that’s what we’re seeing.”

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