In the days leading up to the report, White House officials sprang into action, going on networks and telling the nation that the economy is still strong and there’s no indication of a recession.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, for one, spent the week fielding questions on the topic from the press. Throughout the week, she repeatedly declared that a second straight quarter of decline is “not the definition” of a recession. At the same time, she declined to detail the administration’s official definition, only noting that they rely on “indicators” used by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
The NBER is an independent group of economists who investigate and give analyses on “major economic issues,” according to the non-profit’s website.
Brian Deese, the Director of the National Economic Council, also came out swinging in an effort to try and quell recession fears. He appeared on CNN on Monday and also argued that the incoming GDP report would not indicate a recession, highlighting the jobs created under President Joe Biden.
“Never in the history of our country have we had a recession where the economy was creating jobs, period,” Deese told the network.
“Certainly in terms of the technical definition it’s not a recession,” he added. “The technical definition considers a much broader spectrum of data points. But in practical terms, what matters to the American people is whether they have a little economic breathing room, they have more job opportunities, their wages are going up — that has been Joe Biden’s focus since coming into office.”