Revisions to rosy economic estimates underreported by media amid Biden self-congratulation

"These advanced estimates given out by the government should come with a warning label 'For entertainment purposes only,' because clearly we're not dealing with reality," says economic analyst Phillip Patrick.

Updated: March 4, 2023 - 11:19pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Even as President Biden continues to claim credit for any glint of positive economic news while blaming supply chain issues and inflation on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, recent revisions of government economic estimates — downward for GDP growth and upward for inflation — have gone largely underreported in the media.

America's economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2022 was weaker than initial estimates and also lagged behind third quarter numbers by 0.5%, according to statistics from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

The revised Q4 estimate for GDP, which represents the sum of all goods and services produced within the United States, shows the economy grew at a rate of just 2.7%, 0.2% less than the initial estimate of 2.9%.

The Biden administration's lengthening record of releasing overly sunny economic numbers only to backtrack later has raised growing questions about the credibility of government statistical reports.

"It's concerning," economic anayst Phillip Patrick said recently on the "Just the News No Noise" television show. "I mean, these advanced estimates given out by the government should come with a warning label 'For entertainment purposes only,' because clearly we're not dealing with reality.

"The Bureau of Economic Analysis revised fourth quarter GDP and inflation numbers in opposite directions. So GDP was revised down about 8%. The personal consumption expenditure — or PCE inflation — was revised up about 15%. PCE is concerning. This is the Fed's favored inflation metric. And it's accelerating yet again.

"January saw a 5.4% rise on last month, on an annualized basis. If we take out food and energy, the volatile metrics, it's still at [a] 4.7% increase, both marking pickups after several months of decline. And that's particularly concerning.

"So in sum, all of the good numbers went down, all of the bad numbers went up. So this rosy picture that's being painted by the White House and Wall Street — I mean, a lot of that optimism was based on numbers that were clearly inaccurate. So this rosy picture may be short-lived."  

Citing Team Biden's history of promoting false narratives, Sen Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) fears the Biden administration is gaslighting Americans with misleading, politicized numbers.

"You look at all this other stuff that they have created — the great COVID coverup and the Hunter Biden [laptop] coverup and the censorship coverup, and then you say, 'Hey, wait a minute,'" Blackburn told the John Solomon Reports podcast. "They want to tell me inflation is 6.2 or 6.5, or 6.6 [percent]. And when I look at the basket of goods that I purchased by going to the grocery store, and food costs are up almost 15%. The cost of gasoline for your car is up 33%. Diesel is up over 50%. Home heating fuels are up over 30%, and people are going, 'Hey, wait a minute, that's not 6% inflation.'

"And they're feeling it. Have you bought a carton of eggs lately? A bag of lettuce and some tomatoes, and people are going, 'My goodness, look at what is happening with these prices,'" Blackburn explained. "Things that they considered to be basics are now basically luxuries when they go to the grocery store. And so, I think most people would look at this [economic news] and say, 'Yeah, we told you so.' Just like they've looked at COVID. Just like Hunter's laptop and said, 'Yeah, we told you so.'

"And commonsense does not exist, and the way this administration tries to collude with social media and with big media, and to change the language and to change what words mean and to cover up what they are doing — this is something that I think should make everyone uncomfortable." 

Back in September 2022, only 1% of respondents in a Quinnipiac survey said the economy was "excellent." That didn't stop Biden calling the U.S. economy "strong as hell" a month later when asked by a reporter if he had economic concerns about the strength of the U.S. dollar amid rising inflation. 

"I'm not concerned about the strength of the dollar," he answered. "I'm concerned about the rest of the world. Our economy is strong as hell."

"Inflation is worldwide," Biden added, according to Fox News. "It's worse off than it is in the United States. So the problem is the lack of economic growth and sound policy in other countries, not so much ours."

Neither the White House nor the Department of Labor replied to the requests for comment for this article. 

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