White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre denied that the United States is in an economic recession during a Thursday press conference, despite the GDP report showing negative growth for the second consecutive quarter.
By standard definitions, two consecutive quarters of declining GDP growth indicates that a nation is in an economic recession. According to the report released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 0.9 percent in the second quarter of 2022, and in the first quarter, real GDP decreased 1.6 percent.
While pressed on the recession during Thursday’s press conference, specifically about President Biden’s recession denial, Jean-Pierre denied the US was in a recession and said that the Biden administration sticks to “the facts.”
The reporter asked Jean-Pierre, “Today the President argued that the economy is not in a recession. And it was a year ago that the President said that inflation would be temporary. So, the question is, why should Americans take his word for it now when the President got it wrong on the economy a year ago?”
“When we talk about recession, and we talk about where we are currently, today, what we look at, and what we speak to, is the facts, is what other experts are saying and what the textbook definition is of recession,” Jean-Pierre responded.
Jean-Pierre proceeded to claim that the United States cannot be in a recession because the quarter showed jobs gained. Although, the White House press secretary failed to mention that the majority of those “created” jobs are people returning to work following the Covid pandemic.
“If you look at the pre-recession years, in our history, you see that the thing that happens during a pre-recession is that you lose jobs. And we’re not seeing that currently,” Jean-Pierre told the reporter.
“The labor market, it has gained jobs. If you look at the first six months, 2.7 million jobs have been created. Under the President’s watch, 9 million new jobs have been created. The last quarter, 1.2 million jobs. We’re seeing the resiliency of business investment. We’re seeing the resiliency of consumer buying power and that matters,” she claimed. “Those are the broad factors that we look at.”
Last week, the White House issued a statement denying that two consecutive quarters of declining GDP growth qualifies as a recession.
“While some maintain that two consecutive quarters of falling real GDP constitute a recession, that is neither the official definition nor the way economists evaluate the state of the business cycle,” the White House wrote.
“Instead, both official determinations of recessions and economists’ assessment of economic activity are based on a holistic look at the data—including the labor market, consumer and business spending, industrial production, and incomes. Based on these data, it is unlikely that the decline in GDP in the first quarter of this year—even if followed by another GDP decline in the second quarter—indicates a recession,” the White House said.
Story cited here.
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