Oct 12, 2022 - Economy

Biden says "slight recession" possible, "but I don't anticipate it"

President Biden being interviewed on CNN.

President Biden being interviewed on CNN. Screenshot: CNN

President Biden said during a CNN interview broadcast Tuesday night "a very slight recession" is possible for the U.S., but he doesn't think it will happen.

Why it matters: With fewer than 30 days until the midterm elections, Biden and the Democrats have a shrinking window of time to assure Americans that the economy remains healthy.

Driving the news: In their interview, CNN's Jake Tapper asked Biden: "Should the American people prepare for a recession?"

  • Biden initially responded with a firm "no," but he later clarified: "I don't think there will be a recession. If it is, it will be a slight recession — that is, we'll move down slightly."
  • He added that while a slight recession was possible, "I don't anticipate it."

The big picture: Biden has consistently said he doesn't expect a recession, even when analysts have warned of a downturn.

  • He told AP in June a recession was "not inevitable" while still talking up the economy.
  • A month later, he said, "We're not going to be in a recession" — citing the low unemployment rate.
  • Since then, the Federal Reserve and other major central banks have raised interest rates in order to tackling surging inflation.

Of note: J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said this week the current global economic climate was "likely to put the U.S. in some kind of recession six to nine months from now."

Threat level: Close to half (47%) of voters favor Republicans when it comes to the handling the economy, an NBC News poll last month found.

  • That represents a 19-point advantage over Democrats, favored by 28% of voters.

What to watch: Biden's comments come ahead of the Department of Labor’s release Thursday of the latest inflation statistics, as well as the start of corporate earnings season — which may reveal how optimistic or pessimistic companies feel about consumers and the economy. 

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