Biden downplays concerns over economic downturn: ‘I don’t think we’ll see a recession’

Biden downplays concerns over economic downturn: 'I don't think we'll see a recession'
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“I don’t think we’re going to go into a recession,” Biden told reporters on Monday. “The employment rate is still one of the lowest we’ve had in history. In the region of 3.6 percent (percent). We still find ourselves investing in people.”

“My hope is that we will go from this rapid growth to stable growth. So, we will see some of them go down. But I don’t think we will go — God willing — I don’t think we’ll see a recession,” he continued.

While there is no fixed rule that determines what defines a recession in the United States, it is generally understood as the contraction of two consecutive quarters of the country’s gross domestic product (or GDP). But a small group of economists When did the Business Cycle Dating Committee officially is in a recession, and they describe a recession as “a significant decline in economic activity that spans the economy and lasts for more than a few months.”

The U.S. expects a host of key economic reports this week, alongside coming second-quarter GDP figures on Thursday, including Tuesday’s consumer confidence survey and Friday’s Personal Consumption Spending index. The Federal Reserve will also meet on Wednesday to discuss interest rates.

Senior officials of the Biden administration continue to insist that the economy is not in recession due to widespread inflation.

Earlier Monday, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese argued that this week’s report from the Department of Commerce showing a second consecutive negative quarter of GDP does not mean the US is in recession. using an argument The White House used this in an inflation report earlier this month: Deese said the second-quarter data, reflecting the April-June period, would be “inherently retrospective”, pointing to the employment created in that time frame.

“Never in our country’s history have we had a job-creating recession, point, stop creating 400,000 jobs,” Deese told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day.”

Deese and Biden’s other economic advisers try to use this squishy definition to argue that the economy is resilient. CNN poll of the week showed that the public’s view of the economy is in its worst shape since 2011.

“It’s certainly not a recession in terms of the technical definition. The technical definition takes into account a much broader range of data points. But what matters to the American public in practical terms is whether they have a little economic breathing room, whether they have more job opportunities, their salary is going up — that’s been Joe Biden’s focus since he took office,” Deese said.

Deese said that despite high gas and grocery prices, the country’s economy is “resilient in the face of crucial global economic challenges.” Gas prices, which fell nearly 55 cents last month, have fallen in recent weeks, According to AAA.

“If you look at the labor market, if you look at what consumers are spending, what businesses and households are investing in, you continue to see this flexibility,” Deese said. Said. “But that’s not a reason for smugness. We need to act. We need to act now on things like prescription drugs and semiconductors.”

He urged Congress to take immediate action to lower costs for American families, including lowering prescription drug prices and supporting U.S. computer chip production, which he noted would help lower automobile costs.

“These are very uncertain times,” Deese said. “And when you go to the gas station or walk into the grocery store and see these high prices, they not only create difficulties, they also create uncertainty about how things will go in the future.”

White House economic adviser Heather Boushey also told CNN on Monday afternoon that while the administration is hopeful to spur economic data later this week, it is still preparing for more discouraging signs.

“Well, we’re definitely looking for positive (GDP) growth in the second quarter, but you know, the expectations are that it’s going to be small — small to negative,” Boushey told CNN’s Victor Blackwell. Like Deese, Boushey stressed continued strong economic indicators such as the labor market.

Boushey said management is convinced we “have the tools and are in a good enough place to meet the challenges ahead”, but acknowledges that high prices are “an ongoing challenge”.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Sunday argued that the economy was “in transition” and was “slowing down”.

“This is not an economy in recession, but we are in a transition period where growth is slowing,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

CNN’s Betsy Klein and Donald Judd contributed to this report.

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