The Trustworthy Data Says We Are Not in a Recession

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When it comes to the economy, the idea of “fake news” is nothing new. We’ve often had a segment of the population believing the U.S. government is intentionally lying. In the early 2000s, economist Paul Krugman used the term "inflation truthers" to describe those who believed that the official government measures of inflation were intentionally inaccurate, and the real rate of inflation was much higher than reported.

I was one of those “inflation truthers.” But over time I came to believe that, despite some debate about the accuracy of the Consumer Price Index, there is no evidence to support the claim that the government is intentionally understating inflation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics bases its measures of inflation on a complex methodology that is widely accepted by economists.

According to Krugman, many of the “inflation truthers” are now joined by “recession truthers.” They believe that the economy is, and has been, in recession and that the official government data showing otherwise is a lie and a coverup. In August 2022, a survey by Cinch found that 76% of Americans believed the economy was in recession, even though 63% of them could not correctly define the term.