Former Biden advisor: Americans skeptical of economy are 'hesitant to accept' progress

Prices for goods and services rose by .2% in July

Former Biden economic advisor Brian Deese argued that the president’s low approval numbers on the economy likely come from Americans feeling wary about accepting "progress on the horizon."

Appearing on MSNBC's "Inside with Jen Psaki" on Sunday, Deese was questioned on why President Biden continues to see as low as a 37% approval rating on the economy despite some recent improvement.

"Even with this progress, and the economic data does support that argument, of course, including the inflation numbers going down, lowest in two years, but in polls, the American public almost half of them, they don’t feel like the economy is going well. What do you, I know that you are focused on the policy side, always have been, but you are politically savvy guy too. What do you attribute that to?" Psaki asked.

"I think that there are two things going on. One is, we have just been through a period of economic trauma, the COVID crisis and its aftermath was unlike anything that this country has lived through in 100 years. We are in a period of transition, and it’s going to take some time," Deese responded. 

Brian Deese on MSNBC

Former Biden economic advisor Brian Deese appeared on MSNBC. (MSNBC)


"The second thing is, the economic thing anxiety that people feel has been years and decades in the making as well, and so people, naturally, are hesitant to except when they see progress on the horizon. They want to know, is that progress going to continue? I think that’s a natural process." 

The Labor Department said Thursday that the consumer price index, a broad measure of the price for everyday goods including gasoline, groceries and rents, rose 0.2% in July from the previous month, in line with estimates. 

Prices climbed 3.2% from the same time last year, up from 3% in June but slightly below the 3.3% forecast from Refinitiv economists. It marked the first acceleration in the headline figure in more than a year, underscoring the challenge in taming high inflation.

Capitol and Inflation Graph

Inflation rose for the first time in a year based on recent reports for the month of July. (Getty images | iStock)

Moody’s Analytics also found that Americans are spending approximately $709 more per month on goods and services compared to two years ago.

"To be sure, the high inflation of the past 2+ years has done lots of economic damage. Due to the high inflation, the typical household spent $202 more in a July than they did a year ago to buy the same goods and services. And they spent $709 more than they did 2 years ago," Moody's Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi wrote. 


Despite these reports, Deese insisted that as economic data improves, it "should translate into people’s sentiment on the economy as well."

Joe Biden

President Biden has received low approval ratings regarding the economy. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

He added, "Democrats and this president need to be out there making the case, and meeting people where they are and helping them understand why investments in infrastructure, investments in clean energy, manufacturing, are actually going to be relevant to their lives. That is a case that needs to be made, needs to be made very vigorously over the course of the next months and years."

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