WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – There’s a scramble among federal leaders to stabilize a struggling economy. The Biden administration is trying to calm fears of a recession and the Federal Reserve is poised to raise interest rates again.
A new report from The Conference Board shows that consumer confidence is down for the third month in a row.
White House Economic Adviser Bharat Ramamurti says there are signs of strength too, like low unemployment and falling gas prices.
“I don’t want to diminish the squeeze that some families are feeling because of rising prices, but we’ve had a very robust economic recovery,” Ramamurti said. “We are working every day to try to address some of the cost pressures.”
But as families struggle with inflation, Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., is one of many lawmakers on the right blaming President Joe Biden and his administration for high prices.
“The way we turn this country around is to do the opposite of what Joe Biden tells us,” Smith said.
The Federal Reserve is expected to announce another interest rate hike on Wednesday, aimed at lowering inflation by slowing down spending. But even the Fed is concerned that too much of a slowdown could cause a recession.
George Washington University economics Professor Joann Weiner says that’s a tough line to walk.
“It’s a tricky balance. The Fed doesn’t want a recession. But if it gets one, hopefully it will be short,” Weiner said.
She believes the future of the economy is hard to predict, largely because of how the pandemic changed it.
“That, to me, is the biggest uncertainty out there – is we don’t know how this economy is going to function,” Weiner said.
Republicans are warning things are definitely headed in the wrong direction.
“This out-of-control economy is about to go off of a cliff,” Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said.
Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., says they know how to fix it.
“Open up our energy reserves. Stop printing money. How about that? No more multi-trillion dollar bills,” Scalise said.