U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the U.S. economy and his administration’s effort to revive American manufacturing, during his visit in Flex LTD, a factory that makes solar energy microinverters, in West Columbia, South Carolina, U.S. July 6, 2023.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
The White House eagerly took credit Wednesday for December’s strong retail sales numbers, which beat expectations due to higher consumer spending during the holiday season.
“That’s not an accident, that’s Bidenomics at work,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a press briefing.
Holiday shoppers spent more than anticipated at the end of 2023, after a year of inflation continuing to squeeze budgets. Retail sales popped 0.6% in December, above the 0.4% Dow Jones projection.
The Biden administration took credit for the optimistic report, playing it up like a feather in the president’s cap.
“Because of Bidenomics, because of the economic policies that we put forward, we are seeing now a historic number of small business applications,” said Jean-Pierre.
The White House reported last week that it had received nearly 16 million small business applications in the first three years of Biden’s presidency.
“What that means is that small businesses, folks who are starting them, have the confidence in the economy to start a business” Jean-Pierre said.
Wednesday’s retail sales victory lap came hours after the White House took fresh aim at corporate junk fees, issuing new regulations on big banks for overdraft fees.
Biden’s crackdown on hidden fees is part of his broader indictment of what he calls corporate price-gouging, which the White House blames in part for the fact that polls show many Americans have not yet experienced the Biden economic recovery on a personal level.
Despite the White House’s efforts, voters blame their economic headaches on the president, a stubborn reality that is weighing on Biden’s 2024 reelection campaign.
For example, Latino voters, a demographic that favored Biden in 2020, but now lean towards Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.