Americans believe we are in a recession

As the White House continues to argue we aren’t in a recession, and with the National Bureau of Economic Research not providing an authoritative answer on the topic, the debate over our economic reality continues. But as my colleague Martha Njolomole points out, regardless of what our economic state is called, it’s not a good trend.

Does it matter what we call it?

“A recession isn’t a recession merely because a collection of economic experts have unofficially created a formal definition of one,” writes Eric Boehm with the Reason Foundation. “The real test of the White House’s this-is-not-a-recession messaging strategy is whether actual people believe it.”

And most of them don’t, Boehm continues.

According to a recent CNN poll, 64 percent of Americans believe the country is in a recession, including 56 percent of Democrats. Only 18 percent think the nation’s economy is in good shape.

An Investor’s Business Daily poll found similar sentiment, with 58 percent of Americans saying the country is in a recession — up from 48 percent just over two months ago.

With midterm elections coming up, it will be interesting to see how/if Americans’ perspective on the state of our economy factors into the results.