WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Commerce Department released its advance estimate of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) for the fourth quarter of 2022, finding that the U.S. economy rose by 2.9%. This follows a revised third-quarter increase of 3.2% and two consecutive quarters of GDP declines of -1.6% and -0.6%, respectively.
Patrice Onwuka, director of the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) at Independent Women’s Forum, issued the following statement:
“The economy’s strengths and weaknesses are on display in this 2.9% reading of economic growth. Positively, slowing inflation in the second half of 2022 from a historic 9.1% released its stranglehold on businesses and households. The damage is done, however. GDP slowed from a robust 5.9% in 2021 to just 2.1% in 2022. Blockbuster growth stemming due to the economy emerging from the pandemic has been hobbled by government-driven inflation.
“The American consumer deserves credit; she has been our economy’s savior. Battered by inflation and bruised by rising interest rates, households kept consumer spending positive and the economy afloat. The overall decline in spending on goods last year was offset by spending on services such as travel and personal care. Otherwise, diminished consumer spending—which comprises about two-thirds of economic activity—would have fallen even further, dragging down the rest of the economy.
“Consumer resilience should not be interpreted to mean that regular families are doing just fine. Hardships and sacrifices are only worsening. Households up and down the income scale are spending more income to purchase fewer necessities, trading down from preferred brands, and embracing dollar stores. Multiple incomes, sometimes from combining households and generations under one roof, are not enough to combat rising rent costs, high food prices, or ballooning mortgage and credit card payments due to rising interest rates. The quality of life is not the same for low- and middle-class families today, and a moderate GDP reading will not convince them otherwise.”