President Joe Biden appears to have another crisis on his hands — and yet again, it seems to be of his own making.
With Biden at the helm, the U.S. economy suffered what Politico described as a “worrisome bout of inflation” in April, raising concerns about whether America is on the track to economic recovery post-pandemic.
The numbers are in
The numbers come by way of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for the month of April.
Released Wednesday, the report showed a 0.8% increase in consumer prices for goods and services in just one month, marking what Politico called “the largest monthly jump in more than a decade.”
The bumped-up prices were seen across the board, but especially in the automotive industry. In April, used car and truck prices surged 10% — setting a new record — and new cars increased in price by 0.5%, according to Politico, which said the price jump on new vehicles was “the largest increase” in a single month “since last July.”
Other notable price increases were seen in textiles, lumber, housing, and food, including corn and soybeans.
According to the BLS, increases in pricing for airline tickets, car insurance, and household furnishings also had a sizable impact on the latest figures.
The big questions
The numbers raise many questions, but two stick out in the eyes of everyday Americans: How long is the inflation surge going to last? And, perhaps more importantly, how bad will it get before it subsides?
Pundits and politicians have speculated on both questions, with some, including Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, believing that the inflation is only temporary. Powell told reporters last month that he doesn’t expect “persistently higher year-over-year inflation into the future,” according to The Daily Wire.
But others argue that it could last through the end of the year — or even longer. And Washington Post columnist Henry Olsen is warning Americans to beware of lawmakers trying to downplay the numbers.
“The [Biden] administration will likely spin official statistics to play down bad news,” Olsen wrote in a Friday column, according to The Daily Wire. “This generation looks like it’s going to have its own rendezvous with inflation destiny soon. It won’t relish the experience.”
At the moment, it’s anyone’s guess where the once-booming American economy is headed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. For now, however, it certainly appears to be trending in the wrong direction.