White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday that the administration was not trying to redefine recession.
“If things are going so great though then why is it the White House officials are trying to redefine recession?” Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked Jean-Pierre.
“No, we’re not redefining recession,” Jean-Pierre responded. (RELATED: Economist Dismantles Biden Admin’s Attempt To Redefine Recession With One Chart)
“If we all understand a recession to be two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth in a row, and then you have White House officials come up here to say, ‘No, no, no that’s not what a recession is, it’s something else,'” Doocy continued. “How is that not redefining recession?”
Jean-Pierre doubled down, saying, “Because that’s not the definition.”
Doocy: “If things are going so great, why are White House officials are redefining recession?”
Jean-Pierre: “We are not.”
Doocy: “It’s two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth… How is that not redefining recession?”
Jean-Pierre: “That’s not the definition.” pic.twitter.com/eyyvYdZWMj
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) July 27, 2022
The generally agreed upon definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, according to Axios. But a July 21 blog post from the Biden White House contested that definition.
The White House posted Thursday that “while some maintain that two consecutive quarters of falling real GDP constitute a recession, that is neither the official definition nor the way economists evaluate the state of the business cycle.”
The “it’s not a recession” discourse is so ANNOYING and peak econ brain. Nobody gives a shit about definitions, they care that gas and food are too expensive
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) July 27, 2022
Inflation rose to 9.1% in July, the highest percentage increase in a year since December 1981.
According to E.J. Antoni, a research fellow for regional economics in the Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation, “the average American worker has lost around $3,400 in annual income since Biden took office.” (RELATED: Rising Inflation Is Driving Up Elderly Americans’ Taxes)
On Tuesday, Financial Times’ Rana Foroohar pointed out on CNN that the technical definition of a recession doesn’t matter if Americans are unable to afford items such as food and gas.
“Well, look, people feel like they’re in a recession whether they are or not. I mean, there’s a lot of debate about technical recession, at the end of the day, Ana, you and I know it’s about how you feel,” Foroohar said. “Do you have money in your wallet? Are you buttoning up your pocketbook? And people clearly are.”
In Doocy’s line of questioning Wednesday, he mentioned that White House economic adviser Brian Deese had previously defined a recession as two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth.
“Brian Deese said in 2008, ‘Of course, economists have a technical definition which is — of a recession — which is two consecutive quarters of negative growth,'” Doocy said. “And then yesterday he said two negative quarters of GDP growth is not the technical definition of a recession. What changed?”
“It is not, it is not,” Jean-Pierre said, adding, “And I will say that the textbook definition of recession is not two negative quarters of GDP.”