Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin isn’t sweating the possibility of an economic recession due to the coronavirus outbreak.
During an interview on Fox News Sunday morning, host Chris Wallace pressed Mnuchin on financial experts saying that the U.S. and the world are headed into a recession this year. When asked whether they are right, Mnuchin responded that he’d rather focus on matters beside “the technical issue of whether we are going to be in a recession or not.”
“What I’d focus is one: what do we need to do right now? Because it is clear we need to get economic relief to the economy,” Mnuchin said. “And two: where are we going to be later this year?”
Mnuchin then argued that he expects “a big rebound” later in the year.
“If the medical professionals are correct and we are doing all the things, I expect we will have a big rebound later in the year,” Mnuchin said. “So this isn’t like the financial crisis as I’ve said — this will have an end to it as we confront the virus.”
Wallace pressed further on the possibility of a recession, pointing out disruptions to the global supply chain and consumer spending “grinding to a halt.”
Mnuchin once again said that he would focus on getting “economic relief to the people that are impacted by this” before arguing that he “kind of” describes this as being “in the second inning.”
“The first inning was the $8 billion, the second inning we passed bipartisan legislation to make sure that workers that need to be home and small and medium-size businesses will get paid,” Mnuchin said. “We are now going back to Congress and focusing this week on the airlines industry, the hotel industry — there’s no question that the travel industry has been impacted like we’ve never seen before.”
Mnuchin added that President Trump is “absolutely determined” to gain bipartisan support in Congress.
Watch Mnuchin’s remarks on Fox News below:
Mnuchin: "I expect we will have a big rebound later in the year." pic.twitter.com/nZ8OQ0jcYd
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) March 15, 2020
Mnuchin shared a similar sentiment during an interview on ABC News Sunday morning.
When asked by ABC News’ Jon Karl about former top economic adviser Gary Cohn saying he feels we are now in a recession, Mnuchin disagreed with that assessment.
“I don’t think so, but I think the real issue is not the economic situation today,” Mnuchin said. “The real issue is what economic tools are we going to use to make sure we get through this because this is a unique situation.”
Mnuchin went on to say “we’re clearly going to have a slowdown” before arguing that “later in the year, obviously the economic activity will pick up as we confront this virus.”
Watch Mnuchin’s remarks on ABC below:
NEW: Despite forecasting an economic slowdown, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin tells @jonkarl he does not think the coronavirus pandemic will cause a recession: "Later in the year, obviously the economic activity will pick up as we confront this virus." https://t.co/XkLFkSaaAp pic.twitter.com/sBm0lCojMh
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) March 15, 2020