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Joe Biden will make a new push to sell his economic agenda to Americans later today and win over sceptical voters as the latest economic data highlighted the economy’s resilience.
The president’s speech — at the Old Post Office in Chicago’s downtown area — reflects growing confidence inside the White House that Biden can gain more political credit for his sweeping economic legislation that has included pumping billions of dollars into infrastructure, clean energy and chips manufacturing.
Polls conducted since late 2021 have consistently shown that Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy and Republicans have relentlessly criticised the president’s economic record, particularly on inflation.
Periodic attempts by the White House to tout the economic recovery proved a hard sell with voters as inflation rose to 40-year highs. But the White House will take heart from the latest economic data, released yesterday, which showed the US economy remained resilient.
Consumer confidence reached its highest level since 2022 while purchases of new homes rose at their fastest rate in a year and durable goods orders rose by more than estimates. The positive data helped stock markets close higher after a week of selling.
A leaked memo on Monday from the president’s top political advisers suggested “turning the page on failed trickle-down policies” would be a key narrative in Biden’s re-election campaign.
Lael Brainard, the director of the White House National Economic Council, yesterday said Biden’s speech would focus on “growing our middle class”.
Read more: Martin Wolf’s column this week focuses on the US’s leading role in the global economy. He says having made the postwar global order, America is now suffering from buyer’s remorse.
Here’s what else I’m watching today:
ECB forum: The heads of the Bank of England, Bank of Japan, European Central Bank and US Federal Reserve all speak on a panel at the ECB’s annual central bank gathering in Portugal.
US banks: The Federal Reserve will publish the results of its annual stress test for the largest banks in the country.
Results: Cheerios cereal maker General Mills releases fourth-quarter earnings and chipmaker Micron publishes third-quarter results.
Economic data: The US trade deficit is expected to have narrowed in May, having hit its widest level in six months in April.
Five more top stories
1. Exclusive: Ukraine’s defence minister hit back against doubters over the progress of his country’s summer counteroffensive, insisting to the Financial Times that recent modest gains against Russia’s military were merely a “preview” of a much bigger push to come. Read the full interview with Oleksiy Reznikov.
2. The US commerce department is preparing to update sweeping export controls introduced last October to make it harder for US semiconductor companies such as Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices to sell advanced chips to China. Read more on the proposals.
3. Regional and midsized US banks have stepped up efforts to sell off their loan portfolios, looking to raise cash and cut their capital requirements. Private credit investors including Ares and KKR said they were being offered more portfolios in areas such as car and consumer loans, commercial real estate and speciality finance. Read more.
4. Rafael Correa, the convicted former leftist president of Ecuador, is attempting to regain power through an ally in early elections to be held in August. Correa’s chosen candidate, Luisa González, has become the early frontrunner thanks to his endorsement. Read more on Ecuador’s upcoming election.
5. The Biden administration has criticised a decision by Israel’s far-right government to advance plans for 5,700 new homes in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, branding it “an obstacle to peace”. The Israeli decision to press on with the new housing units comes at a time of inflamed tensions in the West Bank. Read more on Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to accelerate expansion of the settlements.
The Big Read
A power struggle in Spain threatens to dash Gibraltar’s hopes for closer ties with the EU. The UK territory, which voted overwhelmingly against Brexit, is racked by fears of a hard border with its neighbour that would end the ease of movement to which workers have grown accustomed.
We’re also reading and listening to . . .
Chart of the day
A sharp drop in the value of the yen is fuelling speculation among investors that the Japanese authorities are preparing a “summer sequel” to the massive market intervention to support the currency last October, the first in nearly a quarter of a century. The yen has fallen sharply this month as investors bet the Bank of Japan has ruled out raising interest rates.
Take a break from the news
Treehouses now can be luxury garden amenities, not just impromptu shacks. Companies have emerged around the world who specialise in bespoke designs and installations intended as much to delight over-18s as their toddler tykes. Mark Ellwood shares some of the most striking examples.
Additional contributions by Grace Ramos and Benjamin Wilhelm
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