There was quite a debate over the summer about what, exactly, defined an economic recession and whether or not the United States had either already entered one or was on the verge of doing so, with President Joe Biden’s White House firmly in the mix of that discussion with a rosy and optimistic prognosis for the nation’s economic outlook.
Biden still appears to believe the U.S. will avoid a predicted economic downturn, though he did seem to concede the possibility of a “slight recession,” the Washington Examiner reported.
That admission comes as many Americans believe an unofficial economic recession has already hit and as numerous economists and analysts have recently predicted that, if not already, the nation will officially be in a recession in just a matter of months.
Biden admits possibility of a “very slight recession”
President Biden recently sat for a rare one-on-one interview, this time with CNN anchor Jake Tapper, who at one point in the conversation referenced the recent predictions and asked bluntly, “Should the American people prepare for a recession?”
“No,” Biden replied without hesitation. “Look, they’ve been saying this now — every six months they say this. Every six months they look down the next six months and say what’s going to happen. It hadn’t happened yet.”
“There’s no guarantee that there’s gonna be a — I don’t think there will be a recession,” he continued. “If there is, it’ll be a very slight recession. That is, we’ll move down slightly.”
President Biden says that the prospect of a “slight recession” is possible but that he doesn’t anticipate it – even as experts are sounding the alarm about the future of the American and global economies. https://t.co/7GV4Dylvcq pic.twitter.com/jfscDg6tLu
— CNN (@CNN) October 12, 2022
Biden went on to assert that the nation was in a better position “economically and politically” than virtually all other countries and proceeded to tout the executive and legislative accomplishments of his administration, which in his view had strengthened the U.S. overall, despite some admitted “problems.”
Pressed by Tapper on his earlier admission of the potential for a “slight recession,” Biden acknowledged, “It is possible. Look, it’s possible. I don’t anticipate it.”
How recessions are defined and declared
The Associated Press published an “explainer” in July about the then-ongoing debate about how economic recessions are defined and identified and why the general rule-of-thumb — two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth, as was the case here — didn’t necessarily always apply.
Recessions are formally declared by the National Bureau of Economic Research, often belatedly or even after the fact, based on a wide array of different economic indicators well beyond just economic growth and unemployment — some of which can be subjective or difficult to determine in real-time.
Regardless of whether or not the nation is already in a recession, and setting aside the predictions of impending economic doom by analysts and experts, Biden’s admission of the possibility of even a “slight recession” — in contrast with the months of fervent denials of such thoughts by his White House — ought to be a bit concerning to all Americans, but especially the politicians and bureaucrats in Washington D.C. who have played a substantial role in creating the economic conditions for such a downturn to occur.