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Delivery bottlenecks hit the US economy and prices, but don’t panic: Yellen

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said inflationary pressures should be temporary.

WASHINGTON: Growls in transportation and supply chains have led to rising prices and bottlenecks in some goods, but Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday urged Americans not to panic.

The price hikes are unlikely to be permanent, and there should be plenty of products available for the Christmas shopping season, Yellen said in an interview with CBS News.

“I think it’s temporary,” Yellen said of the recent price hike.

“But I don’t want to suggest that these pressures will go away in the next month or two. This is an unprecedented shock to the global economy.”

Markets will be on the lookout for the government’s latest inflation report for September on Wednesday after consumer prices hit an annual rate of 5.3% in August.

Policy makers, including the Federal Reserve, have announced that they anticipate a decline in inflation, but a recent spike in oil prices to multi-year highs of over $ 80 a barrel has added concern that the rise may be permanent.

Yellen said the shift in demand has “created enormous bottlenecks in supply chains” and noted the queues of ships in US ports waiting to unload goods.

“We’re getting the pandemic under control, the global economy is coming back, these pressures will ease and I believe it will return to normal levels,” she said.

While there may be “occasional shortages” of some items in the coming months, Yellen said that “there is an abundance of goods and I think there is no reason for consumers to panic about the lack of goods” Christmas.

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