US President Joe Biden speaks about the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC on July 28, 2022.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
New data from the Federal Reserve shows that inflation cooled further in November. But President Joe Biden’s crusade to convince voters that his economic policies are working is far from over.
Inflation grew 0.1 percentage point slower last month than in October, according to the Fed’s consumer price index released Tuesday. The slowdown was caused by a drop in energy prices, which offset a rise in food and housing prices.
The news had all the hallmarks of the “soft landing” the White House has promised over the past year, especially buoyed by even more recent economic data, such as strong job numbers and rising consumer confidence.
Yet Biden was well aware of its limitations. “Despite this progress, I know that many Americans still find too many things unaffordable,” Biden said in a White House statement in response to November’s CPI.
Instead of taking a routine victory lap, the president doubled down on the war, pledging to do himself what the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes failed to do: make things cheaper.
He stepped up his crackdown on rising prescription drug costs, hidden cable and air travel fees and corporate “price gouging.” He also vowed to “keep fighting to bring costs down.”
It’s a marked change in tone from the president’s typical responses to positive inflation numbers. In October, he said progress on inflation proved he was “working to get results for the American people, and it’s happening.”
But as poor polling on Bidenomics casts a shadow over the president’s re-election campaign, Biden’s tone has changed. No longer focused on declaring economic victories, Biden is doubling down on the war.
Voters hold the president responsible for their high rents and expensive groceries, recent polls show.
Economists have attributed record high prices in recent years to Biden’s stimulus packages during the pandemic, along with supply chain disruptions and pent-up consumer demand.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen gives a statement to the press during her visit to Mexico City, Mexico, on December 6, 2023.
Daniel Becerril | Reuters
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