President Joe Biden on Friday sounded dismissive when a reporter asked him about a much-discussed report that billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk said he had a “super bad feeling” about the economy.
Biden responded to the question by saying companies such as Ford F, -2.81%, Intel INTC, -2.52% and Chrysler’s parent STLA, -3.55% were making investments in the U.S. economy.
“So you know, lots of luck on his trip to the moon,” the president said, referring to the SpaceX and Tesla boss.
SpaceX has been planning a 2023 trip to the moon and back.
Musk said in an email to executives at Tesla that he had a “super bad feeling” about the economy, and that employee headcount at the electric-vehicles giant needed to be cut by 10%, according to a Reuters report.
The Biden administration and Musk have been at odds repeatedly, with the entrepreneur once tweeting that the president “for reasons unknown” is “unable to say the word ‘Tesla.’”
Biden’s remarks came after he gave a speech in Rehoboth Beach, Del., about the latest reading on the country’s job market.
In that address, the president characterized the jobs report as encouraging for Americans dealing with high inflation.
Friday’s employment report showed the U.S. added 390,000 new jobs in May, above forecasts for 328,000, signaling the labor market and broader economy are still going strong despite high inflation.
The increase in employment was the smallest in 13 months, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.6%.
“We aren’t likely to see the kind of blockbuster job reports month after month like we had over this past year, but that’s a good thing,” Biden said.
“That’s a sign of a healthy economy with steady growth, rising wages for working families, everyday costs easing up, and shrinking the deficit. That stability puts us in a strong position to tackle what is clearly a problem — inflation. I’ve been very clear that fighting inflation is my top economic priority.”
See: As Biden fights inflation, economists warn his weapons for this battle look ‘extremely limited’
U.S. stocks SPX, -1.68% DJIA, -1.06% lost ground Friday, with the tech sector COMP, -2.60% leading the way south following the news that Tesla may be considering job cuts. The main equity gauges have tumbled this year, with the S&P 500 down about 14%, as investors fret about inflation, the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate hikes and the potential for a recession.
Now read: Biden adviser says U.S. still would face ‘record high inflation’ if there hadn’t been a $ 2 trillion spending package — and there would be ‘much higher unemployment’