Call it a recession or stagflation or a slowdown or a transitory blip or even Ethel or Fred—however you name it, the U.S. economy described in Thursday’s GDP report for the second quarter is struggling. That’s distressing for the American families and businesses living through it, and a political liability for the Democrats presiding over it. No wonder they want to pretend it’s not happening.
The economy contracted 0.9% in the April-June quarter, following the 1.6% contraction in the first three months of the year. The retreat is broad-based. Consumer spending, with an increase of 1% compared to 1.8% the previous quarter, is now at its slowest rate since the pandemic.