U.S. economic growth fell sharply in recent months, the Commerce Department revealed Thursday, leaving America far short of the “return to normalcy” President Joe Biden has repeatedly pledged to deliver.
The public is losing faith in Biden’s leadership on the economy and overall, polls show, and his approval ratings are in the gutter.
An official chart of the disappointing new gross domestic product numbers starkly illustrated how much the economic recovery slowed over the summer — and how far the country has left to go to get back to pre-pandemic levels of production.
According to the Commerce Department, GDP, adjusted for inflation, grew just 0.5% (a 2% annual rate) in the third quarter, compared to 1.6% (6.7% annually) in the second quarter.
- Growth in consumer spending, which has helped drive the recovery, was 0.4%, down from 2.9% in the second quarter.
- Business investment also slowed.
Meanwhile, inflation rose sharply last month, to a 13-year-high, per the Labor Department, partly due to COVID-19-related supply chain issues.
- Americans have faced goods shortages and unprecedented price hikes ahead of the holidays.
- Unemployment rate was down slightly, to 4.8%, a post-pandemic low, but employers continued to struggle to fill job openings.
HOW BIDEN FAILED
- Once in the White House, Biden in February predicted relative normality by Christmas and then in July all but declared victory over the virus and the recession.
Now: According to a Gallup poll released Wednesday, Americans’ confidence in the economy has fallen for four consecutive months — to the lowest level since last May, when unemployment was spiking.
This poll on how the public sees the economy is fascinating.
Perceptions have turned sharply negative. Not good.
But on jobs specifically, people think it's the best time in years.
— Joe Weisenthal (@TheStalwart) October 28, 2021
Top and rising concerns for Americans were various economic issues (21%), including inflation, and the government or poor leadership (21%).
- A CBS News/YouGov poll from earlier this month found just 37% of Americans said the Biden administration was focusing on the issues they care a lot about, particularly the economy.
- Sixty percent said Biden was not focused enough on inflation, and 66% blamed the president’s policies for rising prices.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson predicted earlier this month that Biden’s failure address the demands of everyday Americans would lead to continued “economic decline” and “a profound political reset in this country.”
- “This can’t go on,” Carlson said. “When leaders refuse to hold themselves accountable, over time people revolt. That happens. We need to change course immediately — and acknowledge our mistakes; the people in charge need to acknowledge their mistakes — or else the consequences will be awful.”