President Joe Biden on Monday offered his take on the current state of the U.S. economy, telling reporters that he thought economists and industry leaders’ warnings of an impending recession were nothing more than false alarms.
“We’re not going to be in a recession, in my view,” Biden said, pointing to continued investing and the country’s relatively low unemployment rate as support for his claim.
Biden was asked about the likelihood of a recession after an event promoting a Senate bill to boost domestic production of computer chips. Speaking to reporters virtually due to his recent COVID diagnosis, the president attempted to calm Americans’ worries about an economic downturn in the near future.
“My hope is that we go from this rapid growth into a steady growth,” Biden said. “So we’ll see some coming down, but I don’t think we’re going to, God willing, I don’t think we’re going to see a recession.”
The president’s prediction of a recession-free, “steady growth” future comes just days before the Bureau of Economic Analysis plans to publish its GDP report for the second quarter. The report, set to be released Thursday, will detail how much the economy has grown — or shrunk — in the past three months.
During the first quarter of 2022, the U.S. GDP decreased by 1.6%. If the government’s report indicates another quarter of negative growth on Thursday, then the U.S. will be in a recession, which is traditionally defined as six straight months of economic contraction.
In an attempt to potentially get ahead of a gloomy GDP report, White House staffers have disputed this definition of recession in recent days.
“Certainly, in terms of the technical definition, it’s not a recession,” White House National Economic Council director Brian Deese claimed. “The technical definition considers a much broader spectrum of data points.”
A handout distributed by the White House attempted to push a similar claim.
“What is a recession?” the handout asked. “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.”