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Tipsheet

Don't Get Too Excited. Latest Jobs Report Shows the Biden Economy Remains Cool

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

It’s not Armageddon, but the latest economic report wasn’t a total disaster, but it wasn’t good either. It’s part of the ongoing roller coaster with this administration, though there have been many more downs and ups. Amid the classified document scandal engulfing this White House due to their pervasive prevarication as to a timeline to the events that led to these breaches, I’m not sure this will be a game-changing pivot. That is why the White House kept stalling at every press briefing regarding inquiries into how the former VP left troves of classified documents at multiple locations, but I digress. The fourth quarter saw 2.9 percent growth, which would be decent if it wasn’t 3.2 percent in the third, showing a cool down (via WSJ): 

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The U.S. economy entered 2023 with less momentum as growth cooled amid rising interest rates and high inflation.

U.S. gross domestic product grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.9% in the final three months of 2022, down slightly from a 3.2% annual rate in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said Thursday. 

Consumers, the economy’s main engine, spent at a solid but slower pace last quarter of 2.1%. Business investment ticked up at a weaker rate of 0.7%, as companies cut back on equipment spending. The housing market continued to slump. 

The fourth quarter capped a year of economic slowdown, in part reflecting a return to a more normal pace of growth after output surged amid business reopenings, fiscal stimulus and a waning pandemic in 2021. Economic output grew 1% in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared with a year earlier, down from 5.7% growth in 2021 and 2.6% growth in 2019 ahead of the pandemic. 

Even The New York Times, whose headline read as if we’ve had an economic boom for the past year, wrote, “U.S. gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, increased at an annual rate of 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That was down slightly from a 3.2 percent growth rate in the third quarter.” But wait, “consumer spending, the bedrock of the U.S. economy, grew at a 2.1 percent rate. The data is preliminary and will be revised at least twice in coming months.” So, it’s possible that these figures could be revised down. So, everyone needs to chill, and liberals shouldn’t celebrate too early. We are in an economic recession since we suffered two consecutive quarters of economic contraction. 

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The Biden administration tried to disregard this age-old definition of a recession. Every economic spokesperson who tried to argue otherwise fell flat because these are the facts; you cannot outrun them. We’re projected to have a worsening economic picture come spring, compounded by the fact that Americans have exhausted their savings and racked up record numbers of debt across the board.  

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