Janet Yellen
Photo by Graeme Jennings // REUTERS

On Wednesday, the inflation rate in the United States rose to 9.1%, the highest since 1981. Janet Yellen, U.S Treasury Secretary, stepped in and announced that Washington’s top priority is to bring down rising costs as the state of inflation is unacceptable.

“We’re first and foremost supportive of the Fed’s efforts; what they deem to be necessary to get inflation under control,” Yellen said at a news conference before the Group of 20 finance ministers’ meeting. 

“Beyond that, we are taking our own steps which we believe will be supportive in the short term to get inflation down — particularly what we’re doing on energy prices and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.”

Nearly half of the inflation increase was due to high energy costs from supplies overseas. Yellen is hoping to institute the price cap on Russian oil to prevent future and worsening gas price spikes in the future. When asked if inflation was a higher priority than a potential recession, she answered yes.

However, Yellen noted that increasing interest rates could negatively affect other economies. While a strong U.S. dollar would make other currencies appear weaker in comparison, it may also lower the cost of their exports.

Yellen does not believe that there is a threat of a recession and instead is looking for ways to beat inflation before it worsens and harms other economies. The job and labor markets are strong in the U.S. Strengthening the U.S dollar can make it easier for companies to trade and do business with the U.S, but there is still a risk of increasing debt as the Fed raises interest rates.


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