White House Beefs Up Economic Team as Biden Vies for Second Term

(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden is promoting a pair of aides to bolster his team of economic advisers, ahead of an election that will hinge in large part on Americans’ views of the economy.

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Rob Friedlander will serve as chief of staff to the National Economic Council, led by former Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard, according to a White House official. White House spokesman Michael Kikukawa will succeed Friedlander as senior communications adviser for economic messaging, the official said.

The White House is shuffling its team as it looks to emphasize Biden’s push to lower costs, with signs that progress on inflation has stalled. Voters’ dim view of the US economy, even as indicators for months have shown its resilience, have hampered the president’s ability to gain ground on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The White House has increasingly blamed supposed price-gouging by large companies for the high costs consumers face. Brainard said earlier this month the administration wants to keep gas prices in “current ranges,” and pointed to corporations as a driver of continued price growth, saying profit margins remain historically elevated.

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“We’re going to keep hammering on that point because it is really important that consumers get the benefits of normalization of supply chains we’ve all worked so hard on,” Brainard said on April 18 at the Semafor World Economy Summit in Washington.

A Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll of registered voters in seven swing states, published last week, found that 70% of respondents said the US economy is on the wrong track.

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