Larry Summers: ‘My best guess is that a recession is ahead’

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Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers said on Sunday that his “best guess” is there will be a recession in the U.S. amid growing concerns about inflation.

“Look, nothing is certain, and all economic forecasts have uncertainty. My best guess is that a recession is ahead,” Summers told moderator Chuck Todd during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press.” “I base that on the fact that we haven’t had a situation like the present with inflation above 4 percent and unemployment beyond 4 percent without a recession following within a year or two.”

Summers also told Todd it’s likely “that in order to do what’s necessary to stop inflation, the Fed is going to raise interest rates enough that the economy will slip into recession.”

“And I think that view, which was not a common view a couple months ago, is now the view of a number of statistical models and the view of a range of forecasters and I think will increasingly become a consensus view,” he said.

President Biden said last Thursday that he believes a recession is “not inevitable” soon after the Federal Reserve announced it would hike interest rates at the fastest pace in nearly 30 years.

“First of all, it’s not inevitable,” Biden said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Secondly, we’re in a stronger position than any nation in the world to overcome this inflation.”

Current Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in an ABC “This Week” interview on Sunday that she doesn’t believe that a recession is “inevitable.”

Updated at 12:52 p.m.

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