Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy challenged White House Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese on claims that the nation is not in a recession Tuesday.
Doocy asked Deese if the White House can be certain that the nation is not in a recession period, given that economic advisers falsely claimed inflation would be temporary.
“The president’s economic advisers were telling us last year that inflation was going to be temporary. That’s not true,” he said. “Now the president’s economic advisers are saying there’s not going to be a recession. Are you sure?”
“Well, let me just say this: we look at a range of data, we assess that data, and we lay it out for ourselves and for the president,” Deese said. “But you don’t have to take our word on this.”
“But the president does, right?” Doocy said.
“We also look at what outside analysts are doing, we look at every type of analysis that you could imagine,” Deese continued.
The adviser cited City Group, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan all concluding that economic indicators do not appear recessionary. Deese quoted a J.P. Morgan report saying “it is inconceivable for a labor market that has generated close to 500,000 jobs average monthly gains for the past six months to be in a recession.”
Deese added that while there are advisers inside the White House analyzing global economic conditions, they also look to outside analysts for answers. (RELATED: Reporter Presses Jean-Pierre On The Definition Of Recession)
“We analyze the data, we look at the data, we understand the significant uncertainties that exist in the global economy, including issues of war, including issues of supply chains. But we also look at what other analysts and outside observers are, and certainly I know that’s something that you and your outlets do as well.”
The White House has pushed back on the traditional definition of recession that defines it as two consecutive quarters of negative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. Deese told CNN’s John Berman that this is not in technical terms a recession Monday.
“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,” he said.
Dating back to World War II, a recession has been declared after negative growth was detected in two consecutive quarters. However, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) defines recession as “a significant decline in economic activity that is spread across the economy and lasts more than a few months.” The agency looks at various indicators including industrial production, employment statistics and inflation-adjusted income.
The White House argued in a Thursday blog post that the NBER committee’s recession-indicator has indicated “strong growth in the U.S. economy” since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The statement further argued that economic activity is also determined by consumer and business spending, the labor market, industrial production and incomes.
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is scheduled to release the second quarter GDP growth of 2022 on Thursday, which will indicate whether the nation has faced positive or negative growth.