Fed chair undercuts Biden’s message on inflation

Americans are increasingly worried about inflation, with an NPR-PBS Newshour-Marist poll released earlier this month showing that 30 percent consider it their top concern ahead of the midterm elections.

For his part, President Joe Biden has attempted to put a positive spin on the issue. However, recent comments by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell have made that harder to do. 

Powell: “Inflation has not really come down”

According to Breitbart, Powell admitted to reporters during a press conference on Wednesday that inflation has been a problem for some time now.

“If you really look at this year’s inflation—three, six, and 12 month trailing—you see inflation is running too high. It’s running 4.5 percent or above. You don’t need to know much more than that,” the website quoted him as saying.

“We have seen some supply side healing,” Powell said before acknowledging that “inflation has not really come down.”

“If you look at core PCE inflation, which is a good measure of where inflation is running now, if you look at it on a three, six, and 12 month trailing basis, you’ll see that inflation is at 4.8 percent, 4.5 percent, and 4.8 percent,” he continued.

“What that tells us is that we need to continue, and we can keep doing these—and we did today, another large increase—as we approach the level we think we need to get to. And we’re still discovering what that level is,” the fed chairman concluded.

President says Americans should keep inflation “in perspective”

Powell’s assessment runs contrary to the picture that President Biden attempted to paint during an interview this past weekend with 60 Minutes.

“First of all, let’s put this in perspective,” Biden told 60 Minutes host Scott Pelley. “Inflation rate month-to-month was up just an inch, hardly at all.”

When Pelly pointed out that the most recent inflation figure was 8.3%, Biden conceded that this was not “good news.”

However, he insisted that the situation is not as bad as it could be, stating, “We’re in a position where for the last several months it hasn’t spiked, it’s barely, it’s been basically even.”