Nov 21, 2022 - Economy & Business

Biden's soft landing

Photo illustration of Joseph Biden in front of three hundred dollar bills with a downward trend line

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Biden administration's latest economic messaging seems designed to talk itself — and the public — into a soft landing, not a crash or dramatic rebound.

The big picture: The White House has found a catchy, consistent message that lowers expectations — whether or not the U.S. technically slips into a recession.

What they're saying: During an appearance at an Axios event this week, White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein referred at least six times to “stable, steady growth.”

  • “There is a path to … transitioning from a really breakneck growth path to something that's more steady and stable and…very much inconsistent with recession," Bernstein said.
  • President Biden debuted that line in a Wall Street Journal op-ed in May.

Between the lines: A slowing economy and a Federal Reserve that's hiking interest rates are raising concerns that the economy faces a hard landing after two years of post-pandemic breakneck growth.

  • "Stable, steady" is something the White House is using to prepare the public for growth that lies somewhere between gangbusters and sluggish.

Zoom out: The labor market and consumer demand have demonstrated preternatural resilience in the face of clearly decelerating growth.

Go deeper