Biden administration tries to redefines recession ahead of likely negative GDP report

The White House argued that a recession can be determined based off a "holistic look at the data"

Published: July 25, 2022 11:54am

Updated: July 28, 2022 9:43am

The White House is attempting to redefine what classifies a recession, ahead of report to be released this week show the second consecutive quarter of declining gross domestic product. 

"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 Biden administration said last week.

The next real GDP report is scheduled to be released Thursday.

GDP fell 1.6% during the first quarter of 2022, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which issues the report. 

The Atlanta Federal Reserve predicts that GDP will fall by 1.6% again this quarter.

The White House argued that a recession can be determined based off a "holistic look at the data," such as that shown in the labor market and consumer spending.

"Based on these data, it is unlikely that the decline in GDP in the first quarter of this year – even if followed by another GDP decline in the second quarter – indicates a recession," the White House stated.

The administration pointed to the National Bureau of Economic Research, which defines a recession as "a significant decline in economic activity that is spread across the economy and that lasts more than a few months."

This is not the first time the White House has attempted to spin numbers on the economy. 

Earlier this month, Biden called June's record-high inflation numbers "out-of-date."

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