Biden Says GDP Growth Undercuts ‘Doomsayers’ Ahead of Midterms
(Bloomberg) — The latest US economic data shows that the economy “is continuing to power forward” and is not in a recession, President Joe Biden said.
“For months, doomsayers have been arguing that the US economy is in a recession and Congressional Republicans have been rooting for a downturn,” Biden said in a statement Thursday. “We need to make more progress on our top economic challenge: bringing down high prices for American families.”
US gross domestic product rose at a 2.6% annualized rate in the July to September period after falling for the first two quarters, data released Thursday show. The median projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 2.4% rise.
Biden said the data showed “Americans’ incomes were up and price increases in the economy came down.” Disposable personal income rose 6%, compared to 5.7% in the previous quarter; the price index for gross domestic purchases rose 4.6 percent in the quarter, compared to 8.5 in the previous one.
Read more: US Economy Rebounds as Consumers, Businesses Show Resilience
Despite Biden’s efforts to downplay the threat of a recession, economists still expect the US to enter one as the Federal Reserve hikes rates to cool inflation. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast a 60% chance of a downturn within the next year.
The president earlier this month said a recession in the US was possible but that any downturn would be “very slight” and that the US economy is resilient enough to ride out the turbulence.
Read more: Biden’s ‘Slight’ Recession Would Mean Economic Pain for Millions
With the Nov. 8 midterm elections less than two weeks away, Biden pointed to a recent decline in gasoline prices. Soaring prices at the pump through the spring weighed heavily on Biden’s approval rating. But they’ve fallen by more than a dollar a gallon since then, in part due to Biden’s decision to release crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
“Our first message is: we’re seeing some improvements. Secondly, we know there’s more work to do,” White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain told MSNBC on Thursday.
Biden, who is set to give a speech Thursday on the economy in Syracuse, New York, said Republican lawmakers’ proposals “would drive up inflation.” Polls have shown Biden’s Democrats at risk of losing control of one or both chambers of Congress in the midterms.