Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that Americans should expect to continue paying increased prices on everyday goods for the next year, offering a reversal from her previous forecast that record-high inflation would soon subside.
The main culprit, she told CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Thursday, was Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Ms. Yellen‘s claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin is to blame for America’s inflation woes echoes that of the Biden administration writ large, which has received criticism for dubbing the phrase “Putin’s price hike.”
“I think there’s a lot of uncertainty that is related to what’s going on with Russia in Ukraine,” Ms. Yellen said on the network. “And I do think that it’s exacerbating inflation.”
“We’re likely to see another year in which 12-month inflation numbers remain very uncomfortably high,” she added.
Ms. Yellen predicted earlier this year that inflation would be close to 2% by year’s end. But that forecast has quickly changed in the wake of bleak Labor Department reports showing persistent inflation.
New statistics from the department released Thursday showed that consumer prices rose 7.9% compared to one year ago ending in February, marking the highest increase since the early 1980s.