Portland News

Joe Biden Waves of Inevitability of Recession but Acknowledges Economic Problems

Photo: Marketwatch

The United States is no stranger to recessions, but its consequences still leave a lasting impact. Although the last economic downturn happened more than a decade ago, there has been a growing fear of another recession even as the country is recovering from COVID-19. 

President Joe Biden traveled to Japan to hold talks with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and spoke at a news conference to acknowledge the U.S. economy was going through problems but reassured people that they were “less consequential than the rest of the world has.” The President said that there is no guarantee the country will soon slide into another economic downturn, but the journey moving forward won’t be easy.

The U.S. economy was able to recover from the global pandemic crisis in 2020, but the steady climb in prices threatens to undo the progress. The inflation rates have been at its fastest since the early 1980s, and to counter the problem, the Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates at an aggressive pace. The increasing rates have raised fears of a 2023 recession, with anxious economists seeing little hope for a “soft landing,” in which the Fed can cool inflation without shrinking the economy.

President Biden dismissed the concerns and said he didn’t think a recession would be inevitable. But, despite his dismissal, the President believes the rebound will be laden with obstacles. “This is going to be a haul,” he said. “This is going to take some time.”

The surging gas prices were also highlighted, with the average price per gallon hitting a record $4.59, putting an average price above $4 a gallon in all states. The President said that bringing the prices back down will take time but give the country a chance to move away from environmentally harmful energy sources and toward sustainable options.

“When it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over, we’ll be stronger, and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels,” said the President. “It’s bad. The price of gas at the pump would be a matter of great discussion at my kitchen table when I was a kid growing up. It’s affecting a lot of families.”

President Biden also unveiled an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework designed to signal U.S. dedication to the contested economic sphere and address the need for stability in commerce following the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Opinions expressed by Portland News contributors are their own.