White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow said there is cause for optimism about the state of the U.S. economy despite growing fears of a recession in the coming months.
In an interview with Fox News’ Dana Perino, Kudlow, who serves as the head of the National Economic Council, claimed the economy is “in pretty good shape.”
“There is no recession in sight,” he predicted.
During a separate interview on NBC that also aired Sunday, Kudlow based his argument on the consumer-driven economy.
“Consumers are working. At higher wages. They are spending at a rapid pace. They’re actually saving also while they’re spending ― that’s an ideal situation,” he told Chuck Todd.
The financial markets signaled the possibility of a recession this week, jolting investors and Kudlow’s boss, President Donald Trump, who reportedly is “privately worried” a coming economic downturn could cost him reelection, according to The Associated Press. The uncertainty on Wall Street is also being fueled by Trump’s escalating trade war with China, which has battered U.S. farmers and manufacturers despite the president’s claims otherwise.
But top White House trade adviser Peter Navarro defended the president’s tariff policies with respect to China during an interview on Sunday with ABC’s Martha Raddatz, echoing Kudlow’s confidence about the state of the economy.
“What I can tell you with certainty is that we’re going to have a strong economy through 2020 and beyond,” Navarro said when asked about indicators that the U.S. could be headed for a recession.
Kudlow’s assurances about the strength of the U.S. economy haven’t always panned out, however, as Todd noted in his interview with the former television host on Sunday. For example, shortly before the Great Recession began in 2007 Kudlow wrote: “There’s no recession coming … the pessimistas were wrong. It’s not going to happen ... The Bush boom is alive and well. It’s finishing up its sixth consecutive year with more to come. Yes, it’s still the greatest story never told.”
“I plead guilty to that,” Kudlow responded on Sunday.
The economy seemed to weigh on Trump’s mind during a rally in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire last week. In a speech to thousands of supporters in Manchester, the president declared that even Americans who hate him “have no choice” but to vote for him because otherwise the stock market will collapse.
“You have the best unemployment, you have the most successful state in the history of your state and the history of our country,” he claimed in the speech. “And then you’re going to vote for somebody else? Oh great. ‘Let’s vote for Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren. We have the best numbers we’ve ever had — let’s vote for somebody else.’”