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NYC Mayor Adams initially disputes Biden admin. on recession, later appears to walk back comments

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) on Thursday contradicted the Biden administration’s stance on inflation, saying that America is indeed “in a recession.”

He made his remarks at an interfaith event hosted by nonprofit Project Hospitality at the Sanzer Yeshiva in Staten Island.

He urged New Yorkers to watch their spending and assured them that he would do the same with the city’s funds. Noting that he grew up poor, he described how his mother would explain the family’s budget to him and his siblings. “‘You tell me what to take off the plate if you want me to put something else on the plate,’” Adams said, quoting his mother. “I’m coming to you as a city and saying, ‘This is how much we have, that’s it.’”

He added: “We are in a financial crisis, like you can never imagine. Wall Street is collapsing. We’re in a recession.”

However, Adams was later questioned by a reporter from the Jewish publication Hamodia on whether he believed the Biden administration is wrong about being in a recession.

Adams responded: “The president will make a determination on the official title of where we are. [T]hat’s the president, and I follow the lead of the president. We’re dealing with tough economic times, but we’re going to get through it, because I trust in the president.”

White House officials have repeatedly stated that the U.S. is not in a recession, despite two consecutive quarters of declining GDP, which they said “some” considered to be the definition of a recession. However, “that is neither the official definition nor the way economists evaluate the state of the business cycle,” the White House said in a blog post last week.

The post continued: “Instead, both official determinations of recessions and economists’ assessment of economic activity are based on a holistic look at the data — including the labor market, consumer and business spending, industrial production, and incomes. Based on these data, it is unlikely that the decline in GDP in the first quarter of this year — even if followed by another GDP decline in the second quarter — indicates a recession.”

Biden said on Thursday responding to criticism: “Let me just give you what the facts are in terms of the state of the economy. Number one, we have a record job market, and record unemployment of 3.6 percent, and businesses are investing in America at record rates.” He added, “That doesn’t sound like a recession to me.”

Also on Thursday, The Bureau of Economic Analysis released updated figures showing gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 0.9 percent from April to June of this year.

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