WH Economic Adviser Bernstein: First Quarter GDP Had Some ‘Quite Positive’ Things, We’ll Evaluate Next GDP Report with ‘Contexts in Mind’

On Wednesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “At This Hour,” White House Council of Economic Advisers member Jared Bernstein stated that there were “quite positive” aspects to first quarter GDP even though growth was negative and there are “some real headwinds from price pressures but some real tailwinds from consumer spending and from our very strong labor market. So, we’ll be evaluating the report with those contexts in mind.”

Bernstein said, “What I think every economic analyst is going to be looking at is getting under the hood of this GDP report. In the first quarter, GDP had a negative handle. And it was brought down by inventories and net exports. Some of the key components of underlying economic growth, especially consumer spending and business investment, were actually quite positive. Together, those represent over 80% of GDP. Inventories actually went up in the first quarter. They just didn’t go up as fast as they did in the prior quarter. So, there [are] a lot of complicated moving parts here. What we’re most interested [in] is how [are] the American middle class and lower-income families faring in an economy that has some real headwinds from price pressures but some real tailwinds from consumer spending and from our very strong labor market. So, we’ll be evaluating the report with those contexts in mind.”

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