Joe Biden downplays worst inflation in 40 years as ‘progress’ as shelves in US sit empty


President Joe Biden downplayed the high inflation by saying it is a 'global challenge' that the government is 'making progress' on thanks to his American Rescue Plan
President Joe Biden downplayed the high inflation by saying it is a ‘global challenge’ that the government is ‘making progress’ on thanks to his American Rescue Plan (Pictures: Reuters/AP/Federal Reserve)

President Joe Biden cast the annual inflation of 7% – the highest level the US has seen in 40 years – as a ‘global challenge’ that his administration is ‘making progress’ on as supply chain issues leave many shelves empty.

The consumer price index increased 0.5% in December after rising 0.8% the prior month, according to a Department of Labor report released on Wednesday. That increase raised the annual inflation to 7% last month, which is the highest since June 1982.

However, Biden on Wednesday played down the dismal economic reading.

‘Today’s report – which shows a meaningful reduction in headline inflation over last month, with gas prices and food prices falling – demonstrates that we are making progress in slowing the rate of price increases,’ Biden stated.

‘At the same time, this report underscores that we still have more work to do, with price increases still too high and squeezing family budgets.’

Gas price across the country dropped 2.2% last month from November, but are still up 50% from a year ago. But food prices rose 0.5% from November to December and were 6.3% higher than a year ago.

Biden added that ‘inflation is a global challenge, appearing in virtually every developed nation as it emerges from the pandemic economic slump’ but claimed that his policies have put the country in the right direction.

‘America is fortunate that we have one of the fastest growing economies – thanks in part to the American Rescue Plan – which enables us to address price increases and maintain strong, sustainable economic growth,’ Biden stated. ‘That is my goal and I am focused on reaching it every day.’

Nationwide, gas prices did drop 2.2 percent in December from the prior month, but remained 50 percent higher than a year ago. Food prices were up 0.5 percent on the month and 6.3 percent higher than a year ago, making it unclear what falling food prices Biden was referring to. 

Biden downplayed the high inflation as the coronavirus Omicron variant continues to impact the supply chain.

Omicron has put ‘a bit of a dent’ on efforts to address supply chain problems, according to Vivek Sankaran, CEO of Albertsons, which owns Safeway, Vons and Jewel-Osco.

‘There are more supply challenges, and we would expect more supply challenges over the next four to six weeks,’ Sankaran said on an earnings call on Tuesday, according to the Daily Mail.

A man at a grocery store in Washington, DC, told Fox News of the bare shelves situation: ‘It’s like a Soviet store during 1981. It’s horrible.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Leave a Reply

A note to our visitors

This website has updated its privacy policy in compliance with changes to European Union data protection law, for all members globally. We’ve also updated our Privacy Policy to give you more information about your rights and responsibilities with respect to your privacy and personal information. Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our updated privacy policy.

%d bloggers like this: