President Joe Biden, acknowledged Thursday that the rise in prices—7.5% year-over-year in January—is “elevated,” but justified himself by saying that inflation will moderate substantially later this year.
The inflation rate soared in January to 7.5 %, five-tenths above that of December and the highest year-on-year rise since February 1982, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday.
The price increase was even higher than most analysts’ already high predictions of a 7.3% rise.
“Today is a reminder that Americans’ budgets are being stretched in ways that create real stress at the kitchen table, there are also signs that we will make it through this challenge,” Biden said in a statement.
GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blamed the Democrats for inflation and attributed it to the stimulus plan that Congress passed last year on Biden’s initiative, which injected $1.9 trillion into the economy.
That plan, the Republican said, helped Americans by sending checks to their homes, but in return prices have skyrocketed and now “working families” cannot afford basic expenses.
Excluding food and fuel prices, which are the most volatile, core inflation in January was 0.6%, with a year-over-year rate of 6%.
Energy prices (which include gasoline, crude oil, electricity and natural gas) rose by 0.9% in January, the same percentage by which food prices increased, according to the government report.
Within the food segment, the price of purchases in supermarkets rose by 1 %, and that of food in restaurants by 0.7 %.
In the automotive industry, the prices of newly manufactured vehicles remained constant with respect to December, but the prices of second-hand vehicles rose by 1.5%.