President Joe Biden on Friday said that — while he recognizes that inflation “is a real problem” — he feels the US is at the peak of price inflation.
Biden told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins that he feels inflation will decrease upon passage of his administration’s Build Back Better plan “because it’s reducing costs for ordinary people.”
“I think it’s the peak of the crisis,” Biden said.
“It’s a real bump in the road. It does affect families when you walk into a grocery store and you’re paying more for whatever you’re purchasing — it matters. It matters to people when you’re paying more for gas, although in some states we’ve got the price down below three bucks a gallon, but the point is it’s not gone down quickly enough. But I think it will,” Biden added.
A new report out on Friday showed a key measure of inflation climbed to a level not seen since June 1982. Consumer price inflation rose by 6.8% without seasonal adjustments over the 12 months that ended in November, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
Stripping out food and energy, the prices of which tend to be more volatile, inflation rose 4.9% over the same period — the highest level since June 1991. Looking at November compared to the previous month, prices increased 0.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis, less than the 0.9% increase in October.
In a statement earlier in the day, Biden acknowledged prices were rising but added “developments in the weeks after these data were collected last month show that price and cost increase are slowing, although not as quickly as we’d like,” according to a statement.
That said, “price increases continue to squeeze family budgets,” Biden said. “We are making progress on pandemic-related challenges to our supply chain which make it more expensive to get goods on shelves, and I expect more progress on that in the weeks ahead.”
In speaking to reporters after closing remarks to his virtual Summit for Democracy, Biden hit back at criticism that his policies are responsible for inflation.
“The reason for inflation is that we have a supply chain problem that is really severe, and is causing a significant increase in prices in things that in fact are hard to get access to,” Biden said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told CNN’s Phil Mattingly Biden’s claim that inflation is likely at “its peak” is based off assessments from the Federal Reserve and outside economists “that inflation will come down next year.”
“The way the American people experience this at home is costs, and what things cost, whether it is the cost of gas or natural gas, heating your home or putting gas in your car,” Psaki added. “We’re seeing those prices come down — whether it is buying a car again, we’re projecting those prices will come down. We’re obviously working to bring the cost of food down. So, we are seeing those move in a good trajectory and in a good direction. And I think that’s how he was articulating it.”
This story has been updated with reporting.
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