This is not a good sign.
Responding to the latest data released by the Consumer Price Index, President Biden acknowledged that Americans are in financial distress because of the steep price increase but expressed hope that the issue would resolve by 2023.
Measuring the price fluctuation for a variety of goods, including gas, health care, groceries, and rents 一 among other things 一 the Consumer Price Index presents the most well-rounded view of inflation.
Released on Thursday (February 10), the report detailing January’s figures showed the highest increase on the “all items index” in nearly four decades.
In a statement responding to the report, President Biden noted that “every tool at our disposal” was being used to tackle “higher prices.” He added that the CPI report was a “reminder that Americans’ budgets are being stretched in ways that create real stress at the kitchen table” but said there were “signs that we will make it through this challenge.”
The report shows that in the 12 months ending in January, the all items index increased by 7.5%, the highest 12-month increase since February 1982.
The report also showed that price increases were far-reaching.
Energy increased 27% in the 12-months ending January 2022. The average gasoline cost was up 40% over the same period. Food increased 7%. Shelter increased by 4%. Then, used cars and trucks, a primary reason the inflation data exceeded expectations increased by 40.5%.
Despite earlier claims that inflation was only transitory, the data only shows the situation worsening and becoming entrenched. Now, President Biden is saying the government is working hard to control it.
In the statement, he said, “On higher prices, we have been using every tool at our disposal, and while today is a reminder that Americans’ budgets are being stretched in ways that create real stress at the kitchen table, there are also signs that we will make it through this challenge.”
Biden continued by touting “forecasters” expectations that inflation would alleviate before 2023, saying, “While today’s report is elevated, forecasters continue to project inflation easing substantially by the end of 2022.”