National Economic Council director Brian Deese at a press briefing in the White House, Washington, D.C., July 2, 2021 (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

National Economic Council director Brian Deese on Thursday declined to say whether he believes that inflation will continue into the new year.

“I am not going to get into the prediction business other than to say and echo what I said at the beginning,” Deese said during a White House press briefing when asked whether he believes higher prices are here to stay through 2022. “Most outside independent forecasters continue to see price increases moderating, and moderating meaningfully, over the course of next year.”

Deese blamed “global” supply chain issues for rising prices of consumer goods and said the administration must “do everything we can” to address the elevated prices.

Last week, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell similarly declined to predict whether inflation will recede in 2022. He acknowledged that inflation was “more persistent and higher than we’ve expected.” Inflation hit a 30-year high in October.

During testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, Powell argued that economists should “retire” the word “transitory” because it lacks clarity. He noted that economists use the word “transitory” to mean that inflation “won’t leave a permanent mark in the form of higher inflation.”

Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had long claimed that inflation would be transitory and related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yellen has also recently revised her position to say that inflation has been more persistent than anticipated.

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