Higher energy prices and inflation amidst an ongoing conflict in Europe is likely to result in a recession, warns the US treasury secretary.

Europe is more likely to head into a recession than the US warns the US treasury secretary Janet Yellen.
Europe is more likely to head into a recession than the US warns the US treasury secretary Janet Yellen. ()

The United States is unlikely to fall into a recession as interest rates rise to fight soaring inflation, the US treasury secretaryJanet Yellen has said. 

The risk for Europe, however, was higher, she said following Russia's military operations in Ukraine.

"I really don't expect the United States to fall into a recession," Janet Yellen said at a press conference ahead of a meeting of G7 finance ministers in Germany.

Europe is "more vulnerable and of course more exposed on the energy front" as prices rise following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, she said.

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The continent is highly reliant on Russian energy imports for its energy needs, with any disruption to supplies of oil and natural gas threatening stoppages for industry.

The surge in energy prices drove inflation in the eurozone to 7.5 percent in April, an all-time high for the currency club and well above central banks' two-percent target.

The rise has been even steeper in the US, with consumer prices at an 8.3-percent rate in April despite greater energy independence.

The Fed has responded to the soaring inflation by dialling up a series of interest rate hikes to try to get price rises under control.

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At its last policy meeting at the beginning of May, the central bank announced an unusually large 50-basis-points increase in rates.

But the swiftness of hikes has increased fears of a hard landing as interest rate rises put the brakes on economy, pushing it into a recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

The Fed Chair Jerome Powell has sought to assuage such fears, saying the US is "a strong economy".

"Nothing about it suggests that it's close to or vulnerable to a recession," he told reporters after the Fed's last meeting.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies