Biden’s Budget Anticipates Slowing Economy, Persistent Inflation

President Joe Biden anticipates slowing economy, persistent

On Monday, the White House made a pivotal announcement, revealing President Joe Biden proposed budget for the fiscal year 2025. The unveiling highlighted anticipated economic trends and fiscal policies that may influence the nation’s trajectory in the years ahead.

Economic Deceleration Expected

Foremost among the projections is a significant deceleration in the US economy throughout 2024. Coupled with this is the enduring challenge of inflation stubbornly exceeding the Federal Reserve’s target. Biden’s budget blueprint foresees a modest 1.7% growth in economic activity in the calendar year 2024.

“The US economy faces a notable slowdown in 2024 with persistent inflation surpassing Fed targets,” according to Bloomberg Subscription.

Impact of High Interest Rates

The budget releases its forecasts following a surprisingly robust growth rate of 2.5% in 2023. This development has generated optimism, but it has also raised concerns about the sustainability of such momentum. Analysts attribute the projected slowdown in 2024 to the prolonged effects of high interest rates, which continue to exert pressure on economic expansion. Notably, experts finalized these projections in November, before revealing the robust 2023 GDP figures.

Administration’s Economic Outlook

Growth estimates fall short of market expectations. However, Jared Bernstein, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, remains sanguine about the administration’s outlook. Bernstein emphasized the pro-growth effects of administration policies. Key drivers of future economic resilience include investments in human and physical capital. Additionally, affordable child care plays a crucial role.

Budget’s Path Through Congress

However, the proposed budget faces an uncertain path through Congress, with Republicans controlling the House and holding ultimate authority over taxing and spending. Nonetheless, the budget serves as a roadmap for the President Joe Biden administration’s priorities in an election year. It offers insight into potential policy directions, indicating the path Democrats might take if they secure control of Congress in November.

Key Provisions

Key provisions of the budget include increased child tax credits for parents, significant tax credits for homebuyers amounting to $9,600, and hikes in corporate taxes alongside the introduction of a minimum tax rate of 25% for billionaires.

Impact on Unemployment and Borrowing Costs

Despite projections aligning with economists’ expectations of rising unemployment rates, the budget reveals a stark revision in anticipated borrowing costs. The administration now foresees substantially higher rates compared to earlier forecasts, driven by the Federal Reserve’s efforts to combat inflation.

Fiscal Deficits and Debt Concerns

Rising borrowing costs have already caused significant increases in federal outlays and are projected to strain the budget even more in the years ahead. Analysts anticipate that interest payments on government debt will more than double as a percentage of GDP, putting pressure on allocations for other federal programs.

Overall Fiscal Outlook

Overall, the White House anticipates sustained fiscal deficits exceeding $1.5 trillion annually for the next decade. Deficits are projected to reach $2 trillion by 2033. Despite concerns over mounting debt, Bernstein defended the deficits. He emphasized a measure favored by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen: the cost to service the debt as a percentage of GDP adjusted for inflation. This measure indicates that the cost will remain below 2% for the next decade, indicating fiscal responsibility within historical bounds.

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