White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Friday that the US economy is not in a state of recession, but instead in a “transitionary” state. Jean-Pierre admitted that while the economy isn’t receding, it is in an unusual economy, stating that it is “not normal.”
Jean-Pierre was asked a softball from news media on Friday, being asked “Is the strong jobs report today enough for the White House to say that there won’t be a recession on the horizon?”
Jean Pierre responded: “The strong labor market is what we’re looking at. Right? That tells us, because of the strong labor market and that — that being one of the many economic indicators, it shows us that we are not in a recession, that we are in a transition. And that is very important to note.”
She continued to say that COVID and the war in Ukraine are having major efforts on the economy: “And, look, we have to understand that we are in a different place with the — in this world right now than we have ever been. We are coming — we’re in a pandemic, right? — dealing with a pandemic. It’s more manageable now, but there’s COVID. There’s a war in Ukraine.”
“All of that — all these factors also play into where we are right now, plays into the inflation being up, plays into what we were seeing with gas prices; now we’re seeing them come down. It plays into what we’re seeing with food increases; now we’re seeing that come down a bit as well,” she said.
“And so these are not — this is not a normal economy. Secretary Yellen did a great job laying that down last week at the Treasury De- — at the Treasury Department and talked about the impacts — the outside impacts — and about how that has affected the economy.
Jean Pierre then praised President Joe Biden, along with the American Rescue plan. “But right now — but because of the work that this President has done — the American Rescue Plan, the bipartisan Infrastructure law now — and also now CHIPS Act — this is going to make a difference as well.”
Jean-Pierre had previously said that a recession was not inevitable. “Is the White House now ready to say a recession won’t happen now?” she was asked
“I’m going to go back to what I just said: We are not — this is a — we are living in a different time — right? — when you have a war happening, when you have a once-in-a-generation pandemic.
“And that’s what the Secretary talked about last week when she explained the economy, when she explained where we are currently. And so that also matters.
“But at the same time, we do have a strong labor market. And that indicator tells us a lot about — about the trajectory of the economy. It does not show that we’re in a recession. And I’m — not just me, not just — not just the folks in the White House are saying this. You’re hearing this also from economists,” she concluded.