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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Thursday she expects inflation to "diminish over the course of the year" if the U.S. is successful in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. In an interview on CNBC, Yellen said she hopes inflation would get back to around 2% by the end of the year. The treasury chief said the Biden administration is "doing all the things that we can to deal with supply chain issues that are pushing prices up" and said inflation rose more than most economists, including herself, expected.
U.S. home builders started construction on homes at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of roughly 1.7 million in December, representing a 1% increase from the previous month, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Wednesday. Compared with December 2020, housing starts were up 2.5%. Meanwhile, permitting for new homes occurred at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.87 million, up 9% from November and 6.5% from a year ago. Economists polled by eLesor had expected housing starts to occur at a median pace of 1.65 million and building permits to come in at a median pace of 1.71 million.