Fact check: Biden falsely claims US has ‘world’s fastest growing economy’


“Look, here’s where we are. We have the fastest growing economy in the world. The world. The world,” Biden said.

When asked Friday, a White House official did not attempt to specifically defend Biden’s claim that the United States has the fastest growing economy in the world.

Instead, the official pointed out that the 5.7% growth in real gross domestic product of the United States in 2021 was the fastest for the country since 1984. The official also pointed out that the International Monetary Fund has forecast that in the fourth quarter of this year, the size of the US economy will be larger from its pre-pandemic level at the end of 2019 than any of the other six countries in the international forum known as the Group of Seven : Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom.

These comments are correct. But Biden said three times on Kimmel’s show that the U.S. economy is growing faster than any other country in “the world,” not just faster than six countries in particular. And that is incorrect.

“Obviously, the United States is the most successful G-7 economy in terms of GDP growth rate since the onset of COVID, but it’s not literally the fastest growing economy. fastest in the world during this period,” said Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti. , a former International Monetary Fund official who is now a senior fellow at the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution think tank.

How the United States Compares

Biden took office at the end of January 2021. Among the dozens of countries that experienced faster real GDP growth than the United States in 2021 are Ireland (13.5%), Chile (11.7%) , Turkey (11%), Colombia (10.6%), India. (8.7% for the fiscal year which started in April 2021), Greece (8.3%), Israel (8.2%), China (8.1%), the United Kingdom (7, 4%), France (7%) and Italy (6.6%), according to figures published by the IMF and the governments of the countries. (Many countries’ growth rates were higher than usual in 2021 because their economies were rebounding from the 2020 economic crisis caused by the pandemic.)
An economic outlook released this week by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development predicted growth of 2.5% in the United States in 2022. This was lower than the OECD projections for 2022 for 11 other members of the international forum G20: Saudi Arabia (7.8%), India (6.9% for the year), Indonesia (4.7%), China (4.4%), Australia (4.2%), Spain (4.1%), Canada (3.8%), Turkey (3.7%), the United Kingdom (3.6%), Argentina (3.6%) and South Korea ( 2.7%).

We will add a caveat. There are different ways to measure growth – among other things, you can choose different starting and ending points and different measures of economic activity – and there are various complications involved in the data.

Laura Veldkamp, ​​a professor of finance at Columbia University’s business school, said there was “no way” Biden’s claim was true if he used “the fastest growth.” faster” in the usual way, referring to a percentage change. She said, however, that she would personally describe the president’s claim as “misleading” rather than false, because “the word growth in conversation can mean a lot of things.”

We will respectfully stand by our most severe conclusion. If Biden was citing an unusual or obscure growth metric, he could have explained it. He didn’t, and neither did the White House when asked to comment.


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