Higher-than-expected inflation numbers Wednesday sparked intense criticism of President Biden from Republican lawmakers, who argued that his policies are contributing to the price surge.
Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican, said rising inflation has become “a hallmark” of Mr. Biden‘s economic plan.
“The president had a chance to present a serious plan to actually tackle soaring prices. Instead, he continues to play the blame game and doubles down on reckless spending and higher taxes. Democrats’ woke policies are leaving American families feeling broke,” Mr. Barrasso said.
Rep. Kevin Brady, Texas Republican, noted that inflation has wiped out many of the wage gains made by workers in the hot job market.
“April was another month of raging Bidenflation — punishing price hikes, core inflation worsening and paychecks shrinking. If the President claims inflation has peaked, someone ought to remind him that’s what he claimed last year and was horribly wrong,” Mr. Brady said.
Mr. Biden acknowledged that inflation is “unacceptably high,” saying in a statement that “bringing it down is my top priority.”
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Consumer prices in April jumped 8.3% from 12 months earlier, the Labor Department said Wednesday. That was above Wall Street forecasts of an 8.1% increase.
On a monthly basis, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation by tracking the cost of basic goods and services increased by 0.3% from March to April. That was down from a 1.2% increase from February to march.
The core CPI, which is the price of goods excluding volatile food and energy costs, was 6.2%, above predictions of a 6% gain, dashing hopes that inflation had peaked in March.
The price gains also mean the workers continue to lose ground. Real wages adjusted for inflation dropped by 0.1% last month, despite a 0.3% increase in average hourly earnings.
Over the past year, real earnings have dropped 2.6% even though average hourly earnings are up 5.5%.
Regular gasoline prices surged to a record high of $4.37 per gallon, according to AAA. That increase isn’t reflected in the April consumer price numbers.
Mr. Biden on Tuesday declared inflation is his “top domestic priority,” vowing to get soaring inflation under control. He blamed the issue on supply chain disruptions and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine.