Latest GDP report reveals bad news for Biden with slowing economic growth and surging inflation

 April 26, 2024

One of the biggest drags on President Joe Biden's bid for re-election has been his perceived ill-handling of the economy, particularly in terms of price inflation and higher interest rates paired with weak growth for jobs, productivity, and wages.

All of that and more was laid bare in a "worse-than-expected" quarterly report on the nation's gross domestic product and other economic indicators, most of which don't bode well for Biden, according to Axios.

Slowing economy and rising inflation -- again

In plain terms, economic growth slowed and the inflation rate surged more than had been anticipated during the first quarter of the year -- the exact opposite of what President Biden, his White House, and his campaign team had hoped to see.

The Commerce Department on Thursday issued its quarterly GDP report, which measures a wide range of economic indicators, and noted in its topline that economic growth had slowed to just 1.6%, down from the prior two quarters and below what the Biden administration and its supporters had hoped it would be.

Meanwhile, it was also revealed that price inflation, particularly as measured by the personal consumption expenditures index, surged back up to 3.4% for the first quarter, reversing and surpassing the moderate decline seen over the previous two quarters and remaining elevated well above the Federal Reserve's target rate of around 2%.

So much for the dreams of multiple Fed rate cuts

Both of those indicators are bad news for President Biden, who is almost certainly banking on hopes for a resurgent growth rate for the GDP and tamed inflation in this critical election year to bolster his bid for a second term.

A big part of that was the widespread expectations for the Fed to make multiple cuts this year to its key federal funds rate -- which has remained stuck at 5-5.25% since last summer -- but that seems increasingly unlikely now, according to Yahoo! Finance.

The problem here is that rate cuts are needed to help spur economic growth with increased spending, but increased spending also fuels further price inflation, creating a sort of paradox of competing goals.

Now, far from the lofty predictions late last year of anywhere from three to seven Fed rate cuts throughout 2024 -- which would undoubtedly help Biden's quest for re-election on the appearance of a strong economy -- expectations have now dwindled to perhaps just one or two rate cuts, possibly in September and November, if any at all, according to Reuters.

Will Biden's policies bring back the dreaded "stagflation"?

National Review reported that the worse-than-expected quarterly GDP report has prompted renewed concerns that President Biden's economic policies -- which are almost wholly centered on federal deficit spending through government programs and tax hikes -- will result in a stagnant economy with high inflation, or "stagflation."

While that certainly doesn't bode well for Biden's re-election hopes, it is obviously also not good for the American people and U.S. businesses.

The conservative outlet summed it all up: "Not too much importance should be attached to one quarter’s numbers, but they still can be seen as a warning of what to expect from an economic policy that puts government in the driver’s seat while, to mix metaphors, throwing private initiative under the (electric) bus."

No more "Bidenomics" ... we hope

Perhaps coincidentally, the Daily Caller reported in March that the Biden White House, campaign team, and congressional Democrats had all essentially abandoned the "Bidenomics" phrase they had often and repeatedly championed throughout the second half of 2023 when economic indicators appeared good or at least steady.

Rather hilariously, that term began as a critique of Biden's policies early on in his term but was appropriated and flipped as a positive by his team last year, only to now be dropped as polling showed the positive connotation never caught on with Americans and it remained a largely negative indictment of the president's poor handling of the economy.

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