US growth forecast downgraded after Manchin jeopardizes $1.75 billion spending bill

When Senator Joe Manchin all but killed Joe Biden’s top $1.75 billion social spending bill on Sunday, he cited his concerns about rising inflation and the bill’s effect on the federal deficit.

Now, economists are responding to conservative Democratic intervention by cutting their expectations for US growth.

It was previously forecast that the world largest economy will expand next year by 3% in the first quarter, with expectations that the Better Rebuild bill will pass, a group of economists at Goldman Sachs this week lowered their estimate by 1 point. percent.

Additional cuts were made for the second and third quarters of 2022, highlighting the “negative growth impact” that bank employees flagged as a result of the fiscal package’s failure.

Biden cited Goldman’s amendments in a White House speech on Tuesday, saying: “All of the discussion about how my Build Back Better plan is going to increase inflation and drive up debt. this. . . What happened? Goldman Sachs and others say if we don’t get through Build Back Better, we’re in trouble, because it’s going to grow the economy, and without it, we’re not going to grow.

“What happened? The stock price went down,” he added. “It really took a dip.” The S&P 500 index fell 1% on Monday, following a similar move on Friday, before covering most of those losses on Tuesday.

Kathy Bostjancic at Oxford Economics cited the “unique punch” from the standoff with Manchin and the rising coronavirus cases linked to the new variant of Omicron, warning that the total number of hits could drop growth is down to about 3.7% next year, compared with the 4.4 percentage rate recorded earlier this month.

The drag in 2023 from a failure to overcome Build Back Better is likely to be even more significant, she added, reducing real gross domestic product growth to less than 2%, with 750,000 job losses in the future, she added. end of that year.

“Had to get money out of the economy that we thought was going to be in,” said James Knightley, chief international economist at ING. “It’s been a loss and we’ll have to revise our growth expectations a bit if that’s the case.”

ING’s official forecast predicts the US economy will expand 4.5% next year, but with Omicron raging and Biden’s spending package in jeopardy, Knightley believes 3.5% is reasonable than.

The amendments come just days after Manchin, who represents West Virginia, said he could not support the Build Back Better package, a broad piece of legislation that would make big investments in early childhood education and efforts to combat it. again climate change, among other terms.

After weeks of face-to-face negotiations with the White House, Manchin told Fox News on Sunday: “I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I can not. I have tried everything humanly possible. I can’t get there.”

He took issue with both the size and scope of the package, which includes specific provisions such as the introduction of a four-week paid family and medical leave benefits for all American workers and an extension Tax credits for families with children.

The child tax credit was expanded earlier this year in the Democrats’ $1.9 billion Covid stimulus bill, which provides annual credits of $3,600 for each child under the age of six, and $3,000 per child ages six to 17.

Economists at Deutsche Bank call the loss of the child tax credit “a key downside risk to consumer spending”, with a direct impact on income levels in the short term.

Manchin’s intervention sparked outrage from Senate and House Democrats, divided and led to finger pointing within the president’s party.

On Tuesday, Katie Porter, a progressive member of the House of Representatives, issued a statement saying: “It is not uncommon for economists to again cut forecasts for US economic growth following comments of Senator Manchin.

“The Better Rebuilding Act fights inflation and invests in what we need for a strong, stable, globally competitive economy.”

Democratic congressional leaders and the White House have argued that the $1.75 billion bill would tame, rather than fuel, inflation by reducing household costs for services like services like Child care and goods such as prescription drugs.

Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers have sought to tie the bill to rising consumer prices, arguing that unprecedented levels of spending will drive inflation further. Recent Readings showed inflation rising at its fastest rate in nearly 40 years.

Most economists investigated However, in a joint poll conducted by the Financial Times and the Initiative on Global Markets at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, endorsed a third option, that the social spending package, along with the bill The recently adopted bipartisan infrastructure will have “no material effect” on inflation over time.

“This is not a wall of money that hits the economy in a year. This spreads over the years and will take longer to filter through,” said Knightley. “In an economy with very active demand and tight supply chain constraints, any additional demand would add to inflationary pressures, but if it does add to the economy’s productive capacity America, it can actually reduce inflation in the long run. ”

Manchin’s obstruction solved a devastating blow to the White House and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill, who planned to pass the bill with only Democratic support. Because Democrats control the Senate, 50-50, with Kamala Harris, the vice president, able to vote for a breakout, Manchin’s support is needed to win a majority on the bill.

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