Jean-Pierre Called Out For Biden Admin’s Denial Of US Recession

During Monday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was called out for the Biden administration’s denial of the United States entering a recession and for deflecting questions on a recession to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) – which took a full year to declare there was a recession after the Great Recession in 2008.

“Karine, two questions.  One, just following up on what you said about the National Bureau of Economic Research, they also did not declare it a recession in 2008 until December.  That’s 12 months after the recession had already been in place in the U.S. economy,” CNN correspondent Kaitlan Collins said.

“But based on what the President said earlier, have his economic advisors told him they also don’t think a recession is likely?  And what is exactly the White House’s definition of a recession?” Collins asked.

“Again, we don’t — we don’t — I’m not going to define it from here.  I’m just going to leave it to the NBER as — as we have stated, and how they define recession,” Jean-Pierre said.

“Okay, so you won’t declare it one until they have declared it one.  Is that what you’re saying?” Collins asked.

“I’m just saying that we’re just not going to define it.  We use the indicators that the NBER, the National Bureau of Economic Research, have used.  We’ve mentioned that a few times,” Jean-Pierre responded. “But going to your question about how sometimes it’s late:  Look, I think the — what we’re — not even ‘I think’; what — the point that we’re trying to make here is that we have a strong labor market, which you don’t normally see in a recession.  That is very uncommon to see that.  When you see an average of 400,000 jobs created per month, when you see an unemployment at 3.6, which is historical, that does not — that does not define a recession.”

It should be noted that – like most economic indicators – the U.S. labor market is also cooling down with jobless claims now at their highest point in 8 months. Additionally, the US economy contracted by 1.6% in the first quarter of 2022 and is projected to again shrink by 1.6% in the second quarter of 2022. At the same time, inflation in the United States has reached 9.1% – the highest rate since November 1981.

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