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Janet Yellen has tried to head off an economic report that may confirm that the American economy is contracting
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has denied that the American economy is in recession, even though a report this week may confirm it by the most common definition, saying the nation is instead going through a “necessary and appropriate” slowdown.
Yellen defended President Joe Biden’s economic policies in an NBC News interview on Sunday, arguing that a negative GDP report won’t mean that the world’s largest economy is in recession. The report is scheduled for release on Thursday and, following first-quarter contraction at an annual rate of 1.6%, the latest data may confirm that the economy is shrinking.
Two straight quarters of economic contraction is typically viewed as a recession, Yellen acknowledged, but she tried to reframe how the trend should be defined. “We could see that happen, and that will be closely watched, but I do want to emphasize: What a recession really means is a broad-based contraction in the economy,” she told host Chuck Todd. “Even if that number is negative, we are not in a recession now. I would warn that we should be not characterizing that as a recession.”
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