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Goldman cuts GDP forecast after Sen. Manchin says he won’t support Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ plan

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U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) delivers remarks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., November 1, 2021.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

The apparent failure of President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan means that economic growth could be weaker than expected next year, according to Goldman Sachs.

The plan hit a significant road block on Sunday when West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said he would not support the legislation, meaning that the bill does not have enough votes to pass the Senate.

Goldman Sachs Chief Economist Jan Hatzius said in a note to clients on Sunday that the failure of the bill — which includes significant spending on climate infrastructure and social programs — would slow economic growth in 2022.

“BBB enactment had already looked like a close call and in light of Manchin’s comments we are adjusting our forecast to remove the assumption that BBB will become law. While BBB in its current form looks unlikely, there is still a good chance that Congress enacts a much smaller set of fiscal proposals dealing with manufacturing incentives and supply chain issues,” the note said.

Goldman slightly lowered its real GDP growth forecast for each of the first three quarters in 2022. The firm now projects 2% growth in the first quarter, followed by 3% and 2.75% in the following two periods. Goldman previously expected growth of 3%, 3.5% and 3%.

“With headline CPI reaching as high as 7% in the next few months in our forecast before it begins to fall, the inflation concerns that Sen. Manchin and others have already expressed are likely to persist, making passage more difficult,” the firm also noted.

-CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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