Concerns about inflation have contributed to President Joe Biden’s steadily declining approval rating in recent months.
The latest economic numbers indicate that consumer prices jumped yet again in August, leaving no end in sight for the worst inflationary period in more than a decade.
“Defining inflation down”
Although the Biden administration has insisted that the trend is temporary, prices rose by about 0.3% last month, according to the New York Post.
Of course, that figure did narrowly beat expectations of a 0.4% increase. Meanwhile, the year-over-year Consumer Price Index rose by 5.3% compared to projections of 5.4%. The index did increase by 5.4% in both June and July, marking the highest inflation since 2008.
Although inflation remains close to that level today, some pundits have spun the latest report as proof the economic trend is nearing its end.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board disagreed with such rosy predictions, criticizing it in a piece this week as “defining inflation down.”
“Everyone’s supposed to relax”
As the board wrote, a “5.3% consumer-price inflation was considered high” just months ago.
“No longer,” the editorial concluded. “Nowadays when price rises hit that pace, as they did in August, everyone’s supposed to relax because that means inflation is moderating.”
Further exacerbating economic concerns is the fact that America has yet to return to full employment since COVID-19 restrictions led to widespread layoffs and business closures. The resulting supply chain disruptions and labor shortages have caused prices to continue creeping upward.
“America is on the move again”
The president attempted to spin the bad news in recent remarks, according to Politico, declaring:
The Biden plan is working. We’re getting results. America is on the move again. Because of the groundwork we laid with the American Rescue Plan and our vaccination strategy, we’re seeing an economy and job market that can weather the ups and downs of the delta variant and anything else that comes our way.
Despite his optimistic rhetoric, consumers across the nation are bracing for years of hardship. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York conducted a survey that found Americans generally believe inflation will remain high for the next three years.