'Much Hotter Than Expected': June Inflation Report Blows Past Expectations to 9.1 Percent


White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre warned that the June inflation report would be ”highly elevated.”

However, several estimates of just how high the prices increased year over year would turn out to be a little optimistic. On Tuesday, Bloomberg’s Jonathan Ferro tweeted a list of estimates for the June inflation report that ranged from 8.6% to 8.9% — all of which were too low.

On Wednesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the June inflation report, which found that prices rose at an annual 9.1% rate.

A reporter on Fox Business reacted to the report on Wednesday, saying, ”Much hotter than expected… November 1981 is the last time that we have seen an inflationary number this high.”

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The inflation report found that prices rose 1.3% in June compared to May, which The Washington Post notes is ”also considered high.”

”Inflation is showing few signs of letting up, compounding the pressure on the Federal Reserve and White House to ratchet up their response — and convince the American public that they can significantly slow the economy without causing a recession,” per the Post.

It added, ”Driving the stunning jump was the energy index, which rose 7.5 percent compared to May, and contributed nearly half of the overall increase in inflation. The energy index includes prices for fuel, oil, gasoline, and electricity, and it’s up 41.6 percent for the year, the largest 12-month increase since April 1980.”

Heather Long, an economic columnist for the Post, tweeted, ”Workers are experiencing the biggest decline in years in inflation-adjusted pay. Wages are up 5.1% in past year. Inflation is up 9.1%. The Labor Department calculates that workers had a -3.6% inflation-adjusted decline in pay in the past year (that’s seasonally adjusted).”

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Long noted that grocery prices rose 12% over the past year, the largest annual increase since 1979. Chicken prices rose 19% over the year, which set a record for the largest annual increase. Gas is up 60%, the largest increase since 1981.

Rent prices are up 5.8%, which is the largest increase since 1986.

Long added the 1.3% month-over-month price increase marks the largest of the pandemic. And while she noted that gas prices made up 50% of that increase, she highlighted that food prices rose more than 1% in a month for the sixth consecutive month, and rent prices also rose.

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The latest report comes as President Joe Biden is facing a dismal approval rating that is lower than his 12 immediate predecessors, and his situation is so bad a New York Times/Siena poll found even a majority of his own party say they do not want him to run again in 2024.

Partially driving down his approval rating is that polls show Americans routinely pointing to inflation and high gas prices as the issues that are top of mind for them.

And unfortunately for Biden, he and members of his staff have been very publicly wrong on the track of inflation which will make it harder for Americans to believe that any kind of relief will be coming soon.

In June 2021, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain tweeted, “There are going to be transitory impacts of restarting an economy that was shut down. But a key point in the Fed forecast today: inflation projected down to 2.1% in 2022.”

Meanwhile, in January 2022, Biden responded to the December inflation by claiming the country was ”making progress in slowing the rate of price increases.”

That did not age well.

On Wednesday, Biden reacted to the report by suggesting it was “out of date” as he noted gas prices have fallen for almost 30 days.

At this point, the White House can promise that price increases will start to decrease. But after being so wrong for so long, who is going to trust that any relief is on the way while high prices continue to eat up their wages?

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