Dr. Samuel Gregg of the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) says "people really should pay attention" to the gross domestic product (GDP), which is a monetary measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced and sold in a specific time period.
"It's about economic growth, and economic growth, whether we like it or not, is very, very important for the well being of the country," Dr. Gregg submits. "If you have negative growth, or very low growth, then the country is simply not as economically strong as it should be. If the country is not economically strong, then all of us experience that negativity in some way, especially those people who are on the lower end of the income scale. They are the ones who suffer the most when the economy is not growing very much or it's not growing at all."
Meanwhile, the Commerce Department recently announced that the economy grew at a 2.6% annual rate from July through September, snapping two straight quarters of economic contraction. Calling it "great" and saying, "Things are looking good," the report was well received by President Biden, especially considering it came out less than two weeks before the midterm elections.
But Elaine Parker of the Job Creators Network says more than the headline number needs to be considered.
"It's really due in part from net exports, which is really part of what makes up the GDP," she notes. "It doesn't say much about our underlying economy, because all of these things are still true: Inflation is at a 40-year high, real wages are falling as a result, people are having trouble buying gas because it is at sky-high prices, and people are having trouble deciding whether or not to fill up their gas tanks or buy groceries for the week."
Parker says net exports did go up "a little bit," but that did not change anything for "people with kitchen-table issues to talk about."
So while the administration celebrates the GDP on the White House lawn, "people are suffering" financially and are still having trouble making ends meet.