White House economic adviser says ‘hard to conclude’ whether United States is currently in recession

An economic adviser to President Biden said in an interview this week it is “very hard to conclude” whether the United States is currently in a recession, as inflation soars but employment numbers rise.

Speaking to Fox News anchor Shanon Bream on Fox News Sunday this weekend, Biden advisor Jared Bernstein consumer spending and job growth numbers have been high while inflation remains at a 40-year high, which makes it difficult to determine with certainty whether the US economy is in a full-on recession at the moment. 

“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,” Bernstein 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.” 

Bernstein pointed out that the high inflation rates are largely being driven by high energy prices that have skyrocketed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

“Ukraine and Russia are both bread baskets and energy baskets for the world, and those have put considerable upward pressure on prices,” he said. “So, for example, inflation, which is unacceptably high — let’s get that clear right out of the gate — went up 1.3 percent in June. Again, an unacceptably high increase. Half of that increase is energy prices alone.”

Gas prices have begun to decrease as the average price of a gallon of fuel in the US dropped to $4.60 on Thursday last week, according to AAA. However, experts warn consumers should not expect gas prices to return to 2021 prices anytime soon.

“Even before Ukraine, I was expecting to break the record,” said Tom Kloza, head of energy analysis for OPIS. “Now it’s a question of how much we break the record by,” Kloza added.




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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