Biden economic adviser says ‘very hard to conclude’ if US is in recession

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A top White House economic adviser on Sunday said it was “very hard” to conclude whether the U.S. had entered a recession because the economy is experiencing both positive and negative trends.

Jared Bernstein told “Fox News Sunday” anchor Shannon Bream that while inflation has remained at a 40-year high, there was still strong job growth and strong consumer spending factors.

“It is very hard to conclude we are in a recession when you look at the payroll and the job gains that we’ve seen,” he said. “Right now you got inflation headwinds — big time in this economy, not taking anything away from that — but you also have some very strong tailwinds that are boosting consumers.”

High gas prices and inflation woes have beleaguered Americans this year and President Biden’s job approval ratings have plummeted largely as a result.

Recession fears spread after the stock market plunged into bear market territory and the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) recorded a decrease in the first quarter of the year, with the second quarter also expected to remain negative.

More than half of Americans already believe the U.S. has already entered a recession, according to polling last month.

On Sunday, Bernstein touted to Bream that the U.S. has reduced its budget debt by $1.7 trillion this year largely through increased revenues, which he said were up 26 percent.

The economic adviser said the revenue increase signals the economy was still in decent shape, along with low unemployment rates and continued high consumer spending.

“How do we get faster revenue increases in the economy that is taking the kind of hits that we have been talking about?” he asked. “It must be a much stronger economy than a lot of people are saying, and in fact that’s the case.

“No denial at all about the unacceptability of these elevated prices,” Bernstein added, “but underlying that is an economy with the strongest labor market in a generation.”