The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which tracks the cost of a variety of consumer goods as well as housing and energy prices, has risen 4.2 percent from a year ago, notably higher than the estimated 3.6 percent. It is the largest yearly increase since September 2008.
Even controlling for food and energy prices, the CPI was up three percent, higher than the estimated 2.3 percent. The 0.9 percent CPI increase from March, again controlling for food and energy prices, is the highest since April 1982.
This data comports with Americans’ everyday experiences. On Tuesday, the average price of a gallon of gas rose to $2.99, the highest figure since November 2014.
The news also contradicts the Biden administration’s line on the risk of inflation — that it’s nearly nonexistent.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen responded to questioning on NBC’s Meet the Press on May 2 firmly, saying “I don’t believe that inflation will be an issue.” A few days later, Yellen doubled down from behind the White House briefing podium, “I really doubt that we’re going to see an inflationary cycle.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki sounded less confident this Tuesday, telling reporters that the White House takes “the possibility of inflation quite seriously.”
There is however no indication that the Biden administration will withdraw its American Jobs Plan from consideration, or trim the $2.3 trillion in new spending proposed in it.
This newfound evidence of a coming inflationary wave also comes less than a week after a disappointing jobs report that saw the U.S. economy add 266,000 new jobs. That number was expected to come in at around a million.