President Biden said Tuesday that the US economy may see a “slight recession” but that he still believes he would “beat Donald Trump again” in 2024.
Biden denied the economy is in the midst of a recession — despite meeting the standard definition of two consecutive quarters of contraction — but acknowledged a downturn could happen in an interview on CNN.
“I don’t think there will be a recession. If it is, it’ll be a very slight recession. That is, we’ll move down slightly,” Biden told Jake Tapper in the taped, 15-minute interview.
Tapper followed up, “you just said that a slight recession is possible.”
“It is possible. Look, it’s possible. I don’t anticipate it,” Biden said.
The US gross domestic product shrank by 0.9% in the second quarter of 2022 after decreasing by 1.6% in the first quarter, but Biden aides insist that the country isn’t in a recession because of data showing historically low unemployment and the lack of dramatic business woes.
Despite economic uncertainty, Biden, who turns 80 next month, told Tapper he’s still considering running for president — something he’s consistently told allies he plans to do.
Biden said that after the Nov. 8 midterm elections “I’m going to be in the process of deciding.”
Tapper asked, “Is one of the calculations that you think you’re the only one who can beat Donald Trump?”
Biden replied, “I believe I can beat Donald Trump again.”
Fears of a recession have grown as the Federal Reserve aggressively hikes interest rates in an effort to tame the worst inflation since 1981. Annual inflation hit 9.1% in June and was 8.3% in August despite lower gasoline prices — and gas prices are again on the rise as OPEC+ slashes production.
Biden’s own anticipation of economic developments has evolved.
In April, Biden said, “No one is predicting a recession now. They’re predicting, some are predicting there may be recession in 2023. I’m concerned about it.”
But in June, the president scolded a reporter near his beach home in Delaware for asking about economic experts “saying a recession is more likely than ever.”
“Not — the majority of them aren’t saying that. Come on, don’t make things up, OK? Now you sound like a Republican politician,” Biden said. “I’m joking. That was a joke. But all kidding aside, no, I don’t think it is [inevitable].”