The US economy is the world’s ‘bright spot,’ and there’s no sign of a recession: Treasury secretary

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin gestures as he talks with U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell during the G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Japan on June 8, 2019.

Kim Kyung-Hoon | AFP | Getty Images

There are no signs that the U.S. economy may be heading into a recession, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Speaking to CNBC on Sunday, the American official expressed nothing but optimism about the state of his country’s economy. That analysis comes despite a May jobs figure that came in significantly below expectations and increasing expectations that the Federal Reserve could opt to cut interest rates multiple times this year.

“U.S. growth it still really the bright spot of the world,” Mnuchin told CNBC’s Nancy Hungerford.

“As it relates to the employment numbers, I wouldn’t focus on any one number: There’s plenty of volatility in these numbers,” he added. “We still see the growth in the U.S. as really quite strong.”

In fact, the Treasury secretary said his concerns are about economic falterings beyond American borders. “We are somewhat concerned about what we see as a slowdown in Europe, China and other areas of the world,” he said.

And while markets may be forecasting that the U.S. central bank will initiate some easing, Mnuchin suggested that doesn’t presage any economic downturn.

“I don’t see any signs of a recession. I would say the bond markets are predicting … a lowering of interest rates. We are in an environment where global interest rates are very low around the world, so I think that’s what you’re seeing in the U.S. bond markets,” he said. “But, no, we see no signs of a recession. We see another strong quarter in the United States.”

Mnuchin declined, citing the principle of central bank independence, to say whether he though the state of the U.S. economy warranted any interest rate cuts from the Fed.

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