Yellen, asked about Kudlow’s mea culpa, says economy ‘headed in the right direction’

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was asked Tuesday about recent comments from former top Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow in which he admitted he and other forecasters were wrong about the U.S. economy heading for a recession.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) asked Yellen during a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee about the commentary from Kudlow earlier this month on Fox News, when he offered a mea culpa in the wake of the latest strong employment numbers.

“Do you agree with Mr. Kudlow that the U.S. economy is headed in the right direction?” Cleaver asked.

“I absolutely believe it’s headed in the right direction,” Yellen responded. “Our growth is extremely strong. The labor market is at least as strong as it was prior to the pandemic. It’s been 50 years since we’ve had a string of unemployment rates this long under 4 percent. And job creation remains utterly robust.”

Kudlow, who served as the director of the National Economic Council under former President Trump, said on Fox News earlier this month he was “wrong about the slowdown and the recession.”

“So was the entire forecasting fraternity,” he added. “Everyone was wrong.”

The U.S. economy added 353,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate clocked in at 3.7 percent, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department.

The January jobs report far exceeded the gain of 185,000 jobs and a 3.8 percent unemployment rate expected by economists polled by the Wall Street Journal.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.