Inflation Is Overshadowing US Economic Resilience, Hurting Biden

The US economy is resilient, and it’s bad news for Joe Biden.

Given time to digest Thursday’s GDP report, most economists looked past the weak headline number and declared the underlying momentum of the US economy remained strong. But growth and jobs — which have been surprisingly sturdy for more than a year — have generated little tangible benefit to Biden’s hopes for reelection.

What they did generate was more of the one thing that has truly stung Biden: inflation.

“This is a lose-lose for the president,” said Stuart Paul, an economist at Bloomberg Economics. “He doesn’t get to realize the benefit of the hot growth because it’s coming at the cost of high inflation and interest rates. This economic resilience is borderline a problem for Biden.”

The report comes at a perilous time for the president’s campaign. Americans were already sour on economic conditions, and research suggests that voters begin to make up their minds about the direction of the economy about six months before an election — right about now.

A Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll of voters in seven battleground states this month showed that more than half expect the economy to be worse by the end of the year. And at least half of voters say they expect the inflation rate and borrowing costs to rise even higher than they are now.

As a result, the Biden campaign has largely retired the “Bidenomics” branding that used to define his economic case for reelection and is emphasizing issues like abortion rights and protecting democracy.