Treasury Secretary Yellen says Americans should expect second year of 'uncomfortable high' inflation

Yellen spoke just hours after fed's Consumer Price Index report for February showed inflation rose 7.9% in past 12 months
Janet Yellen

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is warning Americans to expect another year of "very uncomfortably high" inflation as Russia's invasion of Ukraine further exacerbates domestic and global economic factors that have already resulted in soaring prices on consumer goods in the U.S. 

"I don’t want to make a prediction exactly as to what’s going to happen in the second half of the year," Yellen said Thursday on CNBC's "Closing Bell." But "We’re likely to see another year in which 12-month inflation numbers remain very uncomfortably high."

Yellen spoke just hours after the federal government's February Consumer Price Index report, which showed inflation rose 7.9% in the past 12 months. Her remarks also follow earlier comments she made to the network indicating that she expected inflation figures to become more moderate toward the end if 2022. 

On Thursday, she said Russia's attack on Ukraine has increased uncertainty in the markets. 

"We have seen a very meaningful increase in gas prices, and my guess is that next month we’ll see further evidence of an impact on U.S. inflation of Putin’s war on Ukraine," Yellen said.

In addition to gas prices, Yellen says the Russia-Ukraine war will also impact food prices because both countries are major wheat producers.