Upcoming inflation data 'does not reflect today's reality': Biden
Washington (AFP) – With the government set to release data that could show prices rising even higher in the United States, President Joe Biden on Thursday attempted to downplay the report as not reflective of the latest economic trends.
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The Labor Department will on Friday release its November reading on consumer prices, which analysts believe will indicate they accelerated compared to the same month in 2020, likely giving Biden's Republican opposition another counterattack to his economic agenda.
In an unusual statement released ahead of the data, Biden said the report will not encompass declines in prices of energy and used cars, two drivers of the high inflation readings in recent weeks.
"The information being released tomorrow on energy in November does not reflect today's reality, and it does not reflect the expected price decreases in the weeks and months ahead, such as in the auto market," Biden said.
Consumer prices in October rose 6.2 percent compared to the same month last year, their sharpest annual increase since November 1990, which surprised analysts and spurred Biden to make fighting inflation a top priority for his administration.
Republicans warn that his landmark Build Back Better spending bill inching its way through a Congress that his Democrats only narrowly control would fuel inflation even more.
The much-debated proposal would allocate $1.8 trillion to social services and fighting climate change.
Prices have risen across the world's largest economy due to a variety of factors, including shortages of components and workers that have hit supplies of goods and hampered production, and rebounds in industries that were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic but are recovering now thanks to vaccines.
Economists predict the rate of consumer price increases will slow in November compared to the month prior, but at the year-on-year level, the headline figure will likely be higher than in October.
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