The Biden administration does not want the American public to trust their own eyes.
“Mr. President, we have GDP numbers on Thursday,” Doocy announced. “How concerned should Americans be that we might be in a recession?”
“We won’t be in a recession, in my view,” Pres. Biden added.
“The unemployment rate is still one of the lowest we’ve ever seen,” said the President. “It’s in the 3.6 percent range right now. People are still investing, and my hope is that we’ll go from this tremendous growth to a more sustainable pattern of development. But I do not believe we’re going to have a recession any time soon, God willing.”
Of course, the White House is scrambling to contain the damage after today’s news appears to indicate a recession based on the normal definition. GDP figures are expected to show drops for a second straight quarter, and even Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen believes that this pattern indicates recession according to the “general sense” of the term.
Biden’s team is clearly aiming for a more generalized definition of the r-word, one that differs significantly from the nonprofit National Bureau of Economic Research’s, to avoid damaging news later this week.
The White House’s updated definition of a recession is evident in a blog article published on its website, which states: “While some say that two straight quarters of decreasing real GDP indicate a recession, neither the official definition nor the practice of economists assessing the state of the business cycle reflects that view.”
“Instead, both government determinations of recessions and the economists’ assessments of economic activity are based on a comprehensive evaluation of the data, which includes such factors as the labor market, industrial production, consumer and business spending, and incomes,” the White House said.
According to the blog post, the drop in GDP during the Q1 of this year—even if it is followed by another GDP drop in the Q2—is not likely to indicate a recession.
The disconnect is also clear when the White House is compared to everyday Americans. According to a June poll conducted by Bloomberg, “nearly one-third of people” believe the economy is in recession.
Who are you going to trust?