Biden faces 'disastrous economic numbers'
The White House is worried about the pessimistic economic numbers submitted by Americans.
There are a lot of unappealing stats floating around the political world right now for President Joe Biden and his congressional party, but none may be worse than this one: -45.
That is the most recent Economic Confidence Index score from Gallup, which "summarizes Americans' ratings of current economic conditions and whether the economy is getting better or worse."
The index goes from +100 (excellent) to -100 (poor) (very bad). Gallup's May rating of -45 represents the public's most pessimistic view of the economy since the Great Recession ended in early 2009.
Only 14% of Americans felt the country's economic situation is "great" or "good". More than three times that percentage, 46%, said the economy was "poor", while 39% said it was "only fair". That's worse than what Gallup reported in April when one in every five Americans said the economy was "great" or "good", while 42% said it was "bad".
According to the most recent CNN poll, only 23% of Americans assessed economic conditions as even fairly excellent. This is a significant decrease from the 37% who stated the same in December 2021 and the 54% who said the same in April 2021.
Overall, according to CNN's poll, Americans' views on the economy are the worst they've been in a decade.
Gallup's latest findings were released on the same day that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen admitted to CNN's Wolf Blitzer that she erred when she declared in 2021 that inflation was only a "small ris".
"I think I was wrong then about the path that inflation would take," Yellen said. "There have been unanticipated and large shocks to the economy that have boosted energy and food prices and supply bottlenecks that have affected our economy badly that I didn't -- at the time -- didn't fully understand, but we recognize that now."
All of this bad news about people's perceptions of the economy comes as the Biden White House – and the President himself – appear to have realized how grave their political situation is on the economy.
Biden prioritizes recovery from inflation
Biden met with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday and said he was laser-focused on inflation. "I'm meeting with the chairman today and Secretary Yellen to discuss my top priority, that is addressing inflation in order to transition from historic recovery to a steady growth for American families," Biden said.
"And my plan is to address inflation, starts with a simple proposition: respect the Fed, respect the Fed's independence, which I have done and will continue to do."
That discussion came just a day after Biden published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal outlining his proposal to reduce inflation. "Americans are anxious," Biden wrote.
"I know that feeling. I grew up in a family where it mattered when the price of gas or groceries rose. We felt it around the kitchen table. But the American people should have confidence that our economy face."
As CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Kevin Liptak noted Tuesday, this is part of a larger month-long campaign by Biden and his team on the economy and inflation.
The duo wrote, "It's not the first time President Joe Biden and his aides have sought to renew attention on the economy. But there remains little Biden can do on his own to bring down prices in the immediate term."
"Yet facing near-record low approval ratings five months before the critical congressional contests, the President has determined another concentrated focus on Americans' bottom line is necessary to demonstrate his attention on the issue."