White House chief of staff Ron Klain on Thursday said that the U.S. is not in a recession and argued that the economy is strong following the Federal Reserve’s decision to again hike interest rates.
“We are not in a recession. I want to be really, really clear on that,” Klain told MSNBC when asked what the White House is doing to prepare for a possible recession.
He noted that the U.S. is seeing a 50-year low on unemployment overall and an all-time low on Hispanic unemployment and that more jobs have been created under the two years of President Biden’s administration “than any administration in history.”
“The economy is growing, it is strong, it is creating jobs,” he said.
He also said the stock market is strong and compared it to the stock market under former President Trump.
“Even with a little bit of a fallback on the market yesterday, the market closed yesterday higher than any day, any one day, of Donald Trump’s four-year presidency,” he said.
On Wednesday, the Fed boosted its baseline interest rate range by 0.75 percentage points for the fourth time in four consecutive meetings.
While the Fed has been working to battle inflation in the U.S., the rate increase this week was the sixth of the year and brought the Fed’s baseline interest rate range to a span of 3.75 to 4 percent.
Klain said that fighting inflation in a top focus of the White House.
“Our mission here at the White House is to continue that kind of economic growth, continue the job creation, continue to move the economy forward and to tackle the biggest problem we have in the economy right now, frankly, which is inflation and bringing down prices of everyday things that hit people, really hit people hard,” he said.
Also this week, mortgage rates fell below 7 percent after weeks of steady increases.
Biden has argued himself that the U.S. isn’t in a recession or necessarily heading for one. He said last month that there is a possibility of a “very slight recession” while reiterating that he doesn’t think there will be one at all.