Mr. Biden finished 2022 in a celebratory mood, vacationing with his wife, Jill, daughter Ashley and grandchildren Hunter and Natalie in the Virgin Islands. Aides described him as being in good spirits all week, a mood echoed by Mr. Biden in the few brief public appearances he made in St. Croix.
“Good year next year,” he told reporters after emerging from church on New Year’s Day. “Looking forward to it.”
He gave a thumbs up.
Mr. Biden has emphasized the positives in the economic recovery since he took office less than a year after the swiftly descending pandemic recession. He has stressed strong job growth, especially in manufacturing, and called the United States better positioned than its peers to endure any difficulties in the years ahead for the global economy.
Economic events have hampered that message, particularly fast-rising consumer prices. Inflation hit a 40-year high last year under Mr. Biden. It is beginning to improve but remains well above historical norms. Forecasters expect economic growth to slow significantly this year as the Federal Reserve continues to aggressively raise interest rates, along with other central banks around the world, in an effort to tame price growth.
Those rate increases, along with continuing fallout from the war in Ukraine, threaten a spreading recession that could consume the United States. Several major economies, including England and parts of continental Europe, have already fallen into downturns. In the event of a contraction in America, Mr. Biden will most likely find Congress unwilling to spend money to try to revive growth.
“For most of the world economy, this is going to be a tough year, tougher than the year we leave behind,” Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, told CBS News’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. But, she added: “The U.S. is most resilient. The U.S. may avoid recession.”
Mr. Biden’s economic team contends that resilience is a direct consequence of the series of laws he steered through Congress in his first two years, which delivered large swaths of the economic agenda he laid out in the 2020 campaign and early in his term.