Call it a recession or stagflation or a transitory slowdown or hiccup or even Ethel or Fred, whatever you call it, the US economy depicted in Thursday’s GDP report for the second quarter is struggling. It’s painful for the American families and businesses who live there, and a political liability for the Democrats who preside over it. No wonder they want to pretend nothing is happening.
The economy contracted 0.9% in the April-June quarter, after contracting 1.6% in the first three months of the year. The retreat is wide. Consumer spending, up 1% from 1.8% in the previous quarter, is now at its slowest pace since the pandemic.