Fed Chair Powell denies existence of economic recession, points to job growth and low unemployment

It seems at times that government bureaucrats and elected officials believe the American people are stupid and incapable of understanding complex issues, and the latest semantic debate over the technical definition of an economic recession is a prime example of that sort of thinking.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday disputed the notion that the U.S. economy had entered into a recession, as per the traditional unofficial metric of persistent negative economic growth, and instead pointed to other economic indicators that remain positive, Breitbart reported.

Powell, like many others in President Joe Biden’s administration, looked past the traditional recession indicator of two consecutive quarters of negative growth for the gross domestic product and suggested that a recession was not in play right now due to the fact that unemployment remained low and wages were rising.

Powell denies the current recession

The remarks from Chairman Powell came Wednesday during a press conference in which he announced yet another Fed rate hike intended to stifle consumer demand and reduce inflation, which he insisted was his top priority, according to the Associated Press.

It is expected that government economists will announce this week that the GDP experienced a second consecutive quarter of negative growth, but Powell dismissed such concerns and highlighted the fact that an estimated 2.7 million jobs have been added so far this year, unemployment remains near a 50-year low at 3.6 percent, and average wages continue to increase at a steady pace.

“It doesn’t make sense that the economy could be in recession with this kind of thing happening,” Powell said.

Biden admin plays semantics with recession definition

Breitbart, however, noted that a June poll from the Economist/YouGov showed that a majority of Americans believed that the U.S. economy was already in an undeclared recession, based largely upon the expectation of continued negative GDP growth paired with high inflation and other indicators of economic instability.

The Biden administration, though, has launched a concerted effort over the past week to vehemently deny that the economy has entered a recession and has engaged in an exceptionally patronizing game of semantics over the technical definition of what actually constitutes 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 said in a blog post last week.

“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,” the blog continued. “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.”

GDP growth rate has long been the primary indicator of recession

The Washington Examiner reported that, for all of the legitimate and justifiable pushback the White House has received for attempting to “change the definition” of a recession, in actuality, there isn’t an official definition — though the aforementioned unofficial definition is basic rule of thumb that, with few exceptions, seems to always apply.

Indeed, despite the sudden shift away from the general rule with regard to GDP growth, the past 12 declared recessions were paired with at least two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth — hence, the general assumption of most Americans that a recession is currently evident, regardless of the fervent denials and excuse-making of various public officials.

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