Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Politics

Fact check: Biden falsely claims US has ‘fastest-growing economy in the world’

“Look, here’s where we are. We have the fastest-growing economy in the world. The world. The world,” Biden said.

Asked for comment on Friday, a White House official did not attempt to specifically defend Biden’s claim that the US has the fastest-growing economy in the world.

Instead, the official pointed out that the 5.7% growth in the United States’ real gross domestic product in 2021 was the fastest for the country since 1984. The official also pointed out that the International Monetary Fund has projected that, as of the fourth quarter of this year, the size of the US economy will be bigger relative to its late-2019 pre-pandemic level than any of the other six countries in the international forum known as the Group of Seven: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom.

Those comments are accurate. But Biden said on Kimmel’s show, three times, that the US economy is growing faster than that of any other country in “the world,” not just growing faster than six particular countries. And that’s inaccurate.

“Clearly the US has been the G-7 economy that has done best in terms of GDP growth rates since the inception of COVID, but is not literally the fastest-growing economy in the world over this period,” said Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, a former International Monetary Fund official who is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank’s Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy.

How the US compares

Biden took office in late January 2021. Among the dozens of countries that saw faster real GDP growth than the US in 2021 were Ireland (13.5%), Chile (11.7%), Turkey (11%), Colombia (10.6%), India (8.7% for the fiscal year that began in April 2021), Greece (8.3%), Israel (8.2%), China (8.1%), the United Kingdom (7.4%), France (7%) and Italy (6.6%), according to figures published by the IMF and the countries’ governments. (Many countries’ growth rates were higher than usual in 2021 because their economies were rebounding from the 2020 economic crisis caused by the pandemic.)
An economic outlook released this week by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development projected the US would grow by 2.5% in 2022. That was lower than the OECD’s 2022 projections for 11 other members of the Group of 20 international forum: Saudi Arabia (7.8%), India (6.9% for the fiscal year), Indonesia (4.7%), China (4.4%), Australia (4.2%), Spain (4.1%), Canada (3.8%), Turkey (3.7%), the United Kingdom (3.6%), Argentina (3.6%) and South Korea (2.7%).

We’ll add one caveat. There are various ways to measure growth — among other things, you can pick different start and end points and different gauges of economic activity — and there are various complications involved in the data.

Laura Veldkamp, a finance professor at Columbia University’s business school, said there is “no way” that Biden’s claim is true if he was using “fastest-growing” in the usual way, referring to a percentage change. She said, however, that she would personally describe the President’s claim as “misleading,” rather than false, since “the word growth in conversation can mean many things.”

We’ll respectfully stick with our harsher conclusion. If Biden was citing some unusual or obscure measure of growth, he could have explained that. He didn’t, and the White House didn’t either when asked for comment.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like

Politics

On Friday, Willow’s crate was spotted being carried by a staff member from the White House residence to Marine One, the presidential helicopter that...

Politics

“As a teacher, I’ve imagined that scene in my own classroom, again and again,” said Biden during remarks at the National Parent Teachers Association’s...

Politics

Navarro is charged with contempt of Congress after failing to appear for testimony or turn over documents in the House select committee’s investigation. While...

Politics

The hearing, which had been scheduled for Wednesday but was postponed until next week, would feature former top Trump administration legal officials who stood...

Politics

Paladino, then a Buffalo school board member, was defending himself against allegations that previous comments he made were racist and said he cared about...

Politics

But there was a striking change from pre-2020 briefings: It touched on violent threats to election officials that stem from conspiracy theories about the...

Politics

But inside the Treasury Department, teams of sanctions experts view that resilience as a mirage. In exclusive interviews with CNN, top Treasury Department officials...

Politics

The presidential election controversy is roiling the Supreme Court again, as the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, US Capitol attack continues...