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Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Sunday that the U.S. economy is strong and rebutted talks of an impending recession while acknowledging inflation is hitting Americans hard.

“The economy’s strong. Customers are buying. Businesses are strong. People are adding jobs,” Ms. Raimondo said on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” quoting an unnamed CEO who she recently spoke with. “He said, ‘We’re trying to talk ourselves into a recession.’ And I agree with that, you know? I think fundamentally, the economy’s strong. But if you go to the grocery store every day, getting ready for that summer picnic, and prices are high, people feel frustrated.”

Recent polls have shown more than three-quarters of voters feel the country is headed in the wrong direction, with inflation acting as a major thorn in the Biden administration’s side and threatening Democrats’ control of Washington this November. Economists have predicted that a recession is likely in the coming years.

Ms. Raimondo conceded that inflation is the driving factor of Americans’ dissatisfaction but highlighted low unemployment and strong consumer spending.

“Unemployment is down. We’ve recovered all the jobs since lost in the pandemic. People’s household balance sheets are strong. However, when you go to the grocery store, prices are high,” she said. “When you fill up your car at the tank, prices are high. Americans are feeling that. And I think that is largely the reason folks say, as you said, we’re headed in the wrong direction.”

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