Biden says US recession not inevitable

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 23 2022 07:44 PM

US President Joe Biden attends a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (not pictured) at Akasaka Guest House in Tokyo, Japan, 23 May 2022. The US president is in Japan on a three-day visit after a trip to South Korea. EPA-EFE pool
US President Joe Biden attends a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (not pictured) at Akasaka Guest House in Tokyo, Japan, 23 May 2022. The US president is in Japan on a three-day visit after a trip to South Korea. EPA-EFE pool

TOKYO - A recession in the United States is not inevitable, President Joe Biden said Monday, while acknowledging the economic pain experienced by Americans as inflation soars.

Speaking in Tokyo, Biden replied "no" when asked if a US recession is inevitable.

"This is going to be a haul, this is going to take some time," Biden said.

The US economy has recovered strongly from its Covid-19 era shutdown, but the highest inflation in four decades and persistent problems in getting international supply chains flowing again are driving pessimism -- and Biden's sinking poll numbers.

Biden blamed inflation on fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine and other global problems and he defended US economic performance.

"We have problems the rest of the world has but less consequential," he said.

While acknowledging the high fuel prices and food supply crunches caused by the war in wheat-producing Ukraine, Biden said his administration would continue to "grow our economy, create jobs".

Last week Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said "I really don't expect the United States to fall into a recession".

However, she cautioned that European countries, which are among the biggest US trading partners, "are more vulnerable" due to reliance on Russian energy imports.