In an attempt to deflect political blame over rising prices, Biden said during a press conference that rising inflation is not a uniquely American product but a global issue, a natural consequence of the economic effects of the pandemic.
“Here are a few things you should know: Just about every country in the world is grappling with higher prices right now as they recover from the pandemic. In the United Kingdom, price increases have hit a 10-year high. In Germany, a 28-year high. In Canada, price increases are the highest they’ve been since the ‘90s. This is a worldwide challenge — a natural byproduct of a world economy shut down by the pandemic as it comes back to life.”
Biden’s justification over inflation is a half-truth, as he fails to paint the complete picture over the differences in inflation rates between America and the rest of the world.
Inflation in America is far higher than in the rest of the developed world
Biden is telling the truth in one thing: Inflation is truly on the rise in the entire developed world. The United Kingdom reported a 4.2% annual increase in prices in October, an almost identical number as the European Union, which revealed a 4.1% inflation rate. Canada is also having record-high inflation, recording a 4.7% rate last October.
Inflation also appears to be deeply related to supply lines bottlenecks, rising gas prices, and increased demand. Basically, as businesses are still struggling to get back to the production they had before the pandemic, the public is consuming more and more goods at the same time. If supply goes down and demand goes up, the result in prices is very simple: they will go up.
However, what Biden decided to conveniently omit during his remarks is that while inflation is up in Europe, it is America which is leading the list in higher prices, by far. As we said before, Europe and the UK have reported numbers that are barely higher than 4% and Canada is still under 5%, by comparison, American consumers are suffering more than 6% increases in prices, a 50% higher inflation than British or European consumers.
America is also faring worse than the EU, Canada, or the UK when comparing inflation per category. Food prices have risen 5.4% in the last year in the U.S., while Germany has only had a 4.4% increase, Canada a 3.9% hike, and Britain’s prices only increasing a mere 1.3%, according to OECD data. The same rings true when observing energy prices, with America leading the pack with an astonishing 30% increase, while Germany, Canada, and the UK have suffered less than 25% of energy prices increases.
A Pew Research study compared the inflation rates of 46 countries between the third quarters of 2019 and 2021, finding that the United States is the third country with the highest inflation growth, with only Brazil and Turkey ahead of the U.S. In this study, prices in America have risen 5.3%, while prices in Britain have increased less than 2%.
The figures are clear, inflation is a worldwide problem, but it is a bigger problem in America than in the rest of the developed world, and by Biden conveniently forgetting to say this, he is painting an incomplete picture of the economic problem Americans are facing during his administration.