Biden Says Economic Plan ‘Working’ as Consumer Prices Ease
(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden took credit for helping to ease costs for US consumers after the latest data showed prices actually fell in December — the first negative monthly figure, with rounding, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The data’s clear — even though inflation is high in major economies around the world, it’s coming down in America month after month, giving families some real breathing room,” Biden said Thursday at the White House, shortly after the release of December consumer price index data.
Prices fell 0.1% from the prior month, exactly in line with a median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Yearly price growth was up 6.5%, also in line with estimates. That yearly figure has now declined for six consecutive months and is the lowest since October of 2021.
The so-called core inflation rate, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.3% from the previous month and 5.7% from a year earlier, both matching estimates. The annual rate dropped to its lowest since a year earlier.
“Two years in, it’s clear, clearer than ever that my economic plan is actually working,” Biden said.
The latest data signal that inflation is easing, raising hopes that the Federal Reserve may slow its pace of rate hikes and boost the chances of a so-called soft landing.
Read more: US Inflation Cools Again, Putting Fed on Track to Downshift
Biden has steadfastly avoided commenting on the Fed, other than signaling support for the robust jobs market — thumbing his nose at economists who say the jobless rate has to rise to ease wage price pressures and inflation overall.
The president took a victory lap last week when the monthly jobs report showed rising employment but easing wage growth, a sweet spot that eased inflationary fears. The US unemployment rate fell to its lowest point in 50 years.
—With assistance from Jennifer Jacobs.
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