Biden says inflation creating 'real stress at the kitchen table,' insists prices will ease by end of year
Biden offered a message of hope in response to a discouraging Consumer Price Index report
President Biden responded to the latest Consumer Price Index report with an admission that Americans are hurting as a result of price increases not seen in decades, but he remained optimistic that the problem will be resolved before 2023.
The Consumer Price Index measures the change in price for a bevy of goods ranging from gasoline and health care to groceries and rents. The January 2022 report, released Thursday, showed the highest "all items index" in almost 40 years to the day.
INFLATION ACCELERATES 7.5% IN JANUARY, HITTING A FRESH 40-YEAR HIGH
"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 said in a statement responding to the report.
The report, issued by the Department of Labor, said that for the 12-month period ending in January, the all items index rose by 7.5%, "the largest 12-month increase since the period ending February 1982."
Price increases were widespread: Although energy prices rose just 0.9% in January from the previous month, they're still up 27% from last year. Gasoline, on average, costs 40% than it did last year. Food prices have also climbed 7% higher over the year, while used car and truck prices – a major component of the inflation increase – are up 40.5%. Shelter costs jumped 0.3% for the month and 4% year-over-year.
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Inflation has plagued the country during Biden's administration, despite early claims from officials that it was "transitory." The president said the government is working hard to get it under control.
"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," he said.
"While today’s report is elevated, forecasters continue to project inflation easing substantially by the end of 2022," Biden added.
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The president pointed to recent wage growth and "moderation in auto prices" which had made up a significant part of the inflation seen in the last year. He also said that a decrease in unemployment claims was "a sign of the real progress we’ve made" in making up for jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We will continue to fight for costs in areas that have held back families and working people for decades, from prescription drugs to child care and elder care to their energy costs. And we will continue to promote more competition to make our markets more competitive and give consumers more choices," Biden said.
FOX Business' Megan Henney contributed to this report.