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Joe Biden Calls Latest Inflation Pain a ‘Regression’, Says He’s Still Bullish on US Economy End-shutdown




President Biden acknowledged Friday that January’s price increases show runaway inflation has not been checked, but said he is still optimistic he can rein in rising prices.

The president’s comments come just hours after the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation showed prices rose 0.6% in January, according to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The personal consumption expenditures price index beat estimates for a 0.4% rise, the data showed. In addition, the annual level is now 5.4% compared to 5.3% in December, which shows that prices have risen during the year.

Basic personal spending, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.6% in January and 4.7% annually. Analysts had expected an annual rate of 4.4%.

All levels are well above the Federal Reserve’s inflation targets, which is still more than double the Federal Reserve’s target.
“As I have long said, there may be bumps along the way, but we face global economic challenges from a position of strength,” Biden said in a statement.

Biden went on to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose invasion of Ukraine sent energy and grain prices soaring. The president said his administration has worked to cut gasoline prices by an average of $1.60 a gallon since Putin started the war a year ago.

However, gas prices are still about $1.00 more per gallon than when Biden took office. The average price per gallon of gasoline in the US is $3.39 compared to $2.39 when Biden took office, according to AAA data.

Despite the bad economic news on Friday, Biden said he is optimistic he will control prices.

“As I travel the country, I see optimism for this year and the years to come,” he said. “The optimism of families with a little more breathing room thanks to our work to get workers back to work.”

• This article is based in part on cable reports.

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