Biden, Mainstream Media Redefine 'Recession' Ahead of Grim GDP Report

By the most common definition, the United States will likely be in an official recession as of Thursday. The Biden administration is attempting to redefine a recession to avoid it, and the media is running with it.

The standard definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. The economy had a negative GDP growth last quarter, and another is expected to be announced this Thursday.

Biden’s definition of a recession is different. A public statement from the administration titled “what is a recession?” examines a recession through a “holistic look at the data.” It defines a recession through a complicated formula that compares unemployment in the past twelve months. The new definition would mean America is not in a recession and likely won't be in the near future.

The Associated Press decides to play ball. Yesterday, the news wire published an explainer titled “How do we know when a recession has begun?” and took the Biden approach by rejecting the standard definition of a recession and instead focusing on employment.

Wikipedia plays ball too. Earlier this week, the Wikipedia page for a recession was edited almost 41 times. The website then prohibited further edits to the page and amended the following to their definition of the economic term:

"There is no global consensus on the definition of a recession."

Big picture: Biden’s new definition of a recession is politically beneficial because, with it, the United States isn’t in a recession, an event that would significantly hurt Democrats before the midterms. Despite the fact that the definition rejects the long-held understanding of a recession, legacy media outlets are running with it.

Join the conversation

or to participate.