Yellen Says Higher Inflation Will Last Through 2021, Then Fade


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© Bloomberg. Janet Yellen Photographer: Andrew Harrer

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(Bloomberg) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she continues to see this year’s burst in inflation as temporary, though likely to last through the end of 2021.

“My judgment right now is the recent inflation we’ve seen will be temporary, it’s not something that’s endemic,” Yellen said Thursday in response to questions from lawmakers.

“I expect it to last, however, for several more months, and to see high annual rates of inflation through the end of this year,” Yellen said while testifying during a House Appropriations subcommittee’s virtual hearing.

Read more: Biden Aides See Political, Not Economic, Peril in Inflation Data

The U.S. consumer price index rose 4.2% in the year through April, the highest reading in more than a decade. Yellen said the spike was caused by price changes driven by consumer spending shifts related to the pandemic and to supply-chain bottlenecks.

She rejected the idea that the Biden administration’s plans for long-term spending on infrastructure and other projects would contribute substantially to inflation. Steve Womack, a Republican from Arkansas who asked Yellen about rising prices, said he expects Biden’s proposals will in fact contribute to inflation.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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