Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed confidence in the economic prospects for the year 2024, stating that she sees “no reason” for a recession and emphasizing an increasing optimism among consumers regarding their financial situations. In an exclusive interview with ABC News Correspondent Elizabeth Schulze in Chicago, Yellen acknowledged potential risks but highlighted positive indicators.
“I think 2024 is going to be a very good economic year. That said, there are always risks,” Yellen stated, attributing the positive outlook to consumers feeling confident about their personal finances and the overall economic landscape. She emphasized the role of consumer spending in creating jobs, fostering growth, and providing individuals with the income to sustain economic momentum.
Yellen’s remarks followed the release of a new GDP report, showcasing robust economic growth that defied earlier expectations of a recession. The Biden administration aims to leverage this economic success to reshape voters’ perceptions ahead of the 2024 election.
Referring to recent surveys and the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index reaching its highest level since July 2021, Yellen highlighted a significant improvement in consumer sentiment. Eager to capitalize on this economic optimism, both Yellen and President Joe Biden made visits to the Midwest, emphasizing the administration’s policy successes in areas such as infrastructure, manufacturing, and clean energy.
In an unusual move, Yellen directly addressed former President Donald Trump’s economic policies, countering recent comments from JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Yellen argued that Trump’s policies primarily benefited big corporations and did little for the middle class, pointing to the significant tax rate reduction for wealthy corporations. In contrast, she highlighted the Biden administration’s investments as instrumental in achieving “the fairest recovery on record.”
Acknowledging ongoing challenges, Yellen emphasized the administration’s commitment to addressing the high costs of child care, food, and housing. While recognizing that certain economic factors may influence sentiment, Yellen pointed out that wages have been rising more rapidly than prices, contributing to an overall improvement in Americans’ financial situations.
Yellen also acknowledged the changing perception of the American dream, citing a decline in the belief that the American dream is still attainable. She noted that economic progress has not been uniform across the country and emphasized the need for change to revive the sense that the American dream is alive and well.