Categories: Economic News

Economic analyst refutes Biden’s ‘zero inflation’ claim: ‘We’re not at zero’

Inflation appears to be slowing following the recent Labor Department report, but prices remain incredibly high compared to this time last year.

After months and months of record highs in the cost of living, better-than-expected numbers sent the stock market soaring. The good news in today’s report comes mainly from lower gas prices. And while this month’s rate is slightly better than economists expected, it still has a long way to go.

Today’s Quick Start Podcast: Biden’s Zero Inflation Claim, Trump’s Growing Odds in 2024

“I came here because the prices are a lot cheaper than other places and it’s going to go down a lot more,” said a California pilot looking for relief.

Not only are gas prices falling, but this month’s inflation report also points to lower costs for new and used cars, travel and clothing. Still, inflation remains a major concern, up 8.5 percent in July from a year ago, even as the Biden administration is trying to paint an optimistic picture.

“Today we received news that our economy had zero inflation for the month of July, zero percent,” President Biden said. “That’s what this means, the price of some things went up last month while the price of other things went down by the same amount. The result, zero inflation, but people still suffer.”

The zero percent number Biden is touting is about what’s known as core inflation, one of several lenses used to view the economy. This figure ignores food and energy prices which can often be more volatile. Mark Hamrick, Sr., an economic analyst at Bankrate, disagreed with Biden’s view of the inflation numbers. “Politicians do politics, what we do here is economic analysis,” he told CBN News.

“If you look at year-over-year increases, the consumer price index is up 8.5% from the overall level, not the 9.1% we saw last month,” Hamrick said. “The base rate, excluding food and energy, is up 5.9% over last year. So we’re down on those headline numbers, but we’re not at zero in terms of where we’re at we find up to a year or more. last year.”

“Food prices are still going up a lot,” Hamrick notes. In fact, they are still hitting highs not seen since the 1970s. A restaurant bill increased by 0.7% compared to last month. And grocery store prices rose 1.3%. Eggs alone jumped 47%. After months of turmoil, the best economic news remains in the labor market.

“I think the good news that we’ve had in the labor market, which is we’re still hiring a lot of people and the unemployment rate is at a 50-year low at 3.5 percent,” Hamrick said. “Inflation may have peaked, but we don’t have full confirmation because we need several more months of data. There is reason for hope, but any kind of relief in our pockets and bank accounts, I think is a welcome news.”

There is still one more month of data before the Federal Reserve’s next policy meeting, which is around the third week of September. Hamrick says they could look good directionally in anticipation of the drop in gas prices that should permeate the food category next month.

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