- The Washington Times - Friday, August 26, 2022

President Biden on Friday said July’s cooling consumer price figures for the month offer proof that his economic plan is on track.

The Personal Consumption Expenditures index, a closely watched figure by the Federal Reserve to gauge inflation, rose by 6.3% year-over-year in July easing from the 6.8% annual increase reported in June, according to Commerce Department figures released Friday.

“Today confirms that our economic plan is building the economy from the bottom up and the middle out and we are making progress,” Mr. Biden said. 

On a month-to-month basis, consumer prices declined by 0.1% from June to July, beating economists’ expectations.

Declining energy prices contributed most to the downward pressure on consumer prices. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy prices, rose by 0.1%.

The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates several times this year to bring down inflation, which peaked at 9.1% in June, and is considering another rate hike in the coming months.

“The American people are starting to get some relief from high prices, and the Inflation Reduction Act that I signed last month will also help bring prices down,” Mr. Biden said referring to the Democrats’ $740 billion tax and spending bill he signed into law this month.

Critics say the Inflation Reduction Act will have no impact on inflation and say the consumer price figures released Friday offer little to cheer about.

“Democrats and their media allies are celebrating today’s month-over-month decline in the PCE Index while ignoring that year-over-year inflation remains near a 40-year high,” said Alfredo Ortiz, president and CEO of Job Creators Network. “To ultimately end this sustained period of high inflation, the Biden administration and congressional Democrats must commit to stopping their reckless spending.”

Mr. Biden acknowledged that his administration has to do more to ease the economic burden on families.

“We have more work to do,” he said. “We have to help families who have been squeezed by decades living paycheck to paycheck.” 

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

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