WASHINGTON, Sept 18 (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Monday she sees no signs the U.S. economy is entering a recession but warned there is a risk of a slowdown if Congress does not pass legislation pass to keep the government running and weaken the momentum of the economy.
“I don’t see any signs that the economy is at risk of recession,” Yellen told CNBC, noting that the U.S. job market also remains strong and inflation is easing.
“There is absolutely no reason for it to close,” he said. “Creating a situation that could lead to a loss of momentum is something we don’t need as a risk at this point.”
Yellen said it was premature to estimate the impact of the United Auto Workers’ strike against the Detroit Three automakers, one of the most ambitious U.S. labor actions in decades, noting that it would depend on the duration and who was affected.
He underscored President Joe Biden’s commitment to collective bargaining and ensuring workers “also move forward,” as the industry has done well.
He said the job market remained strong but “not as hot as before,” which was important given the goal of reducing inflation to 2%.
Yellen, the former Federal Reserve chair, said the central bank’s actions to raise interest rates had begun to impact the housing market but consumer spending remained “fairly robust.”
He added that the Biden administration is closely monitoring gas prices following recent increases and that the president is committed to ensuring prices remain affordable for Americans.