Despite Thursday’s new economic report which revealed the U.S. economy shrank by 1.4% in the first quarter of 2022, NPR is remaining defiantly optimistic about things, arguing that the economy “may be sturdier than it looks.”
While NPR’s Scott Horsley called the negative numbers “a marked contrast from the final months of 2021, which saw some of the fastest growth in decades,” he cited economists who say “that’s not as worrisome as it might seem.”
“We should not take that as a signal of the direction of the economy,” Ben Herzon, senior U.S. economist with S&P Global Market Intelligence, said, adding that it was a drop in exports, inventories, and government spending that led to the GDP disappointment.
But, says Herzon, things are actually looking up.
“If we peel back a couple of layers and just look at underlying domestic demand, the economy looks to be picking up a little bit of steam,” Herzon said.
But, as Fox News reported, the 1.4% decline “clashed with previous expectations that the economy would expand by 1.1% and marked the worst quarter growth in two years since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Again, no worries. According to Herzon, says Horsley, we’re now in a “COVID spring.”
“While the omicron wave of coronavirus infections discouraged some people from traveling and eating out in the first weeks of the year, that has given way to what Herzon calls a ‘COVID spring,” Horsley wrote, pointing to a quote from Herzon.
“People are taking their masks off,” Herzon said. “They’re getting back to consuming the services they were consuming before the pandemic. That’s a pretty powerful push that will help to propel consumer spending — and GDP broadly — higher into the second half of the year.”
“That’s not to say the economy is without challenges,” Horsley conceded.
Challenges, such as a bottlenecked supply chain, the soaring costs of everything from grains to gas, staff shortages, rising interest rates, and annual inflation that has broken a four-decades-long record. And that doesn’t even begin to address the chaos on the international scene, including Russia’s war with Ukraine and a new round of Draconian lockdowns in Shanghai, China.
But, really, there’s nothing to be truly worried about, says Moody’s Analytics economist Mark Zandi, because Americans have loads of cash just taking up space in their bank accounts.
“There’s a lot of cash sitting in people’s bank accounts, and that should help them continue to spend and navigate any kind of storm that’s blowing through,” Zandi said. “And clearly the Russian invasion and the higher gasoline and food prices and inflation is a storm.”
On social media, few are sharing NPR’s rosy outlook, claiming instead that NPR and other media outlets are simply shilling for the Biden administration ahead of the midterm elections.
“NPR, The Times, and the rest of the media are spinning like crazy this morning,” tweeted one user. “I’m sure their ‘don’t worry, the fundamentals of the economy are strong’ takes will go as well as their ‘inflation is actually good’ takes.”
“They’ll say and do anything to protect this administration,” he added.
“You spelled analist wrong,” corrected another user. “An analyst is someone with expertise in a subject. An analist is someone who feeds propaganda they found in their a** to media types that don’t know the difference.”
“Next up: Why nuclear war with Russia is actually a good thing,” quipped a third.
Here’s a sample of the not-so-sunshiney responses to NPR’s ray of economic light.
NPR, The Times, and the rest of the media are spinning like crazy this morning. I’m sure their “don’t worry, the fundamentals of the economy are strong” takes will go as well as their “inflation is actually good” takes.
They’ll say and do anything to protect this administration.
— Steven Hunter ☕ (@StevenWHunter) April 28, 2022
You spelled analist wrong. An analyst is someone with expertise in a subject. An analist is someone who feeds propaganda they found in their ass to media types that don’t know the difference
— Gregory Alan (@rightgreg61) April 28, 2022
Next up: Why nuclear war with Russia is actually a good thing
— Expat_dave (@ExpatDave34) April 28, 2022
This will be Biden’s worst year in office. Inflation going to go up another 3 points and the economy is retracting. The middle and low income families are screwed . Now analyze that . No mater how they try to wish and hope and ponder what if the economy is crashing
— Travis Eckard (@EckardTravis) April 29, 2022
— Based Political Compass Memes (@BestofPCM) April 28, 2022
Wow. Where were these articles propping up the administration when the orange man was in the White House?
— Peter Pettifogger (@petepettifogger) April 28, 2022
— Pilled in ’77 🇺🇸🏳️🌈 (@PilledGay) April 28, 2022
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