CBS News is offering mixed messages with two reports offering a sunny and gloomy take about the state of the U.S. economy.
On Wednesday morning, CBS News ran the headline “Americans need an extra $11,400 today just to afford the basics,” telling readers: “The typical American household must spend an additional $11,434 annually just to maintain the same standard of living they enjoyed in January of 2021, right before inflation soared to 40-year highs, according to a recent analysis of government data.”
The report, based on the findings from Republican members of the U.S. Senate Joint Economic Committee, offered an interactive map of the United States showing which states require more for the same standard of living versus four years ago. While residents of Arkansas have to spend roughly $8,500 more annually, residents in states like Colorado need to spend nearly $15,000.
“Although inflation is cooling, many consumers may not be feeling much relief because most prices aren’t declining… Consumers are still paying more, albeit at a slower pace, on top of the higher prices that were locked in when price hikes surged in 2022 and earlier this year,” the report stated.
However, CBS News aggregated a report from the Associated Press running the headline: “The U.S. economy is doing even better than the government thought.”
“Shrugging off higher interest rates, America’s consumers spent enough to help drive the economy to a brisk 5.2% annual pace from July through September, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Wednesday in an upgrade from its previous estimate. The government had previously estimated that the economy grew at a 4.9% annual rate last quarter,” the report read hours after CBS’ first article, crediting consumer spending and increased investments.
The report said the U.S. economy “has proved resilient” despite the 11 interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve since March 2022 to combat inflation.
And despite quoting an expert predicting a “mild recession” in 2024, the report hyped “easing inflation and resilient hiring” as signs the Fed can “manage a so-called soft landing — raising rates just enough to cool the economy and tame price increases without tipping the economy into recession.”
A recent FOX News poll showed a whopping 65% of Americans disapprove of President Biden’s handling of the economy.
Last week, The Atlantic went to bat for Biden, publishing an article titled “Why Americans Hate a Good Economy” after a Financial Times poll showed the majority of voters saying they are financially worse under Biden “despite some objective positive measures” like 3.9% unemployment, an unchanged consumer price index and a drop in “wage inequality.”
Among the reasons The Atlantic claimed Americans felt so pessimistic about the economy include negative media coverage, high expectations and Democrats being “bad cheerleaders.”