Commerce Secretary: Let’s Not Be 'Talking Ourselves' Into Recession


Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Sunday predicted slower economic growth as the country grapples with inflation but said that won’t necessarily mean a recession, which is marked by two straight quarters of negative economic growth.

“Inflation is our problem, and it is our top priority,” Raimondo said on ABC’s “This Week.” “And so I think (there will be) perhaps a transition to a more traditional growth level, but I don’t think we should be talking ourselves into a recession.”

She pointed to the latest jobs report as cause for optimism.

“We recovered all the jobs since the pandemic. People’s household balance sheets are strong. Companies are doing well. Companies are hiring. Companies are growing,” Raimondo said.

“The fundamentals of this economy are very strong,” she added.

U.S. employers added 372,000 jobs last month, according to Friday’s report from the Labor Department. The unemployment rate was just 3.6%.

Still, some observers worry that the Federal Reserve’s efforts to combat inflation through interest rate hikes could lead to a recession.

“I do think at some point, you know, we will see a less rapid growth in the economy, but I don’t see any reason to think that we will have a serious recession,” Raimondo said.

Gas prices have decreased in recent weeks from shockingly high prices in June. Mortgage rates have been falling as well, The Washington Post noted.

Given those trends and the jobs report, White House officials have been trying to hype the state of the economy.

“The strength of this labor market is historic and it gives us historic strength in navigating the challenges we’re facing,” Brian Deese, chairman of the White House National Economic Council, said last week.