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Biden administration signals Friday's inflation data could be high

Economic Indicators Dec 09, 2021 09:00PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on infrastructure at the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority in Kansas City, Missouri, U.S., December 8, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

By Nandita Bose and Chris Gallagher

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Joe Biden, bracing for another jump in inflation, sought to reassure Americans on Thursday that rises in energy costs and other key goods were starting to ease, but said the change might not be reflected in November data due on Friday.

The consumer price index (CPI) for November is expected to have risen 6.8% compared with the same month last year, a Reuters poll of economists showed, overtaking a 6.2% increase in October, which was the fastest gain in 31 years.

"The information being released tomorrow on energy in November does not reflect today's reality, and it does not reflect the expected price decreases in the weeks and months ahead, such as in the auto market," Biden said in an unusually long statement issued ahead of Friday's data.

Republicans have seized on the issue to criticize Biden's sweeping spending agenda, and it has weighed on the president's approval ratings in recent months.

Those claims are not fully backed up, given that inflation is global, and the annual inflation rates for numerous goods routinely purchased by American households - including food - were already at their highest levels in a decade before Biden entered the White House early this year.

He repeated that passing his $1.75 trillion "Build Back Better" social spending plan would help lower costs.

Biden's top economic adviser Brian Deese appeared at the regular White House briefing to hammer home the same message.

He touted a drop in unemployment numbers to 1969 levels, a rise in real household income and what he called "encouraging signs" in labor force participation, while cautioning against over-interpreting Friday's data.

"That data is by definition backward-looking and so it won't capture some recent price movements, particularly in the areas of energy," Deese said, citing a nine-cent drop in gasoline prices nationally.

Deese said 20 U.S. states have gasoline prices below the 20-year average, and more states should join their ranks in coming weeks. A "very dramatic decline" in natural gas prices would also help ahead of the winter heating season, he said.

Deese also noted declines in shipping costs and certain commodities, including wheat and pork, as well as a drop in wholesale used car prices that should push consumer prices lower.

The November core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy components, is expected to have accelerated to a 4.9% annual increase from the prior month's 4.6% gain, a Reuters poll showed.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said last week the U.S. central bank needed to be ready to respond to the possibility that inflation may not recede in the second half of next year as most forecasters currently expect.

Deese declined to predict if rising prices could continue into next year, but said most independent forecasters expected inflation to moderate "meaningfully" over the course of 2022.

Biden administration signals Friday's inflation data could be high
 

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Comments (19)
MW Locks
MW Locks Dec 10, 2021 5:17AM ET
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So let me get this straight, when food and energy prices rise they simply don't count because, you know, volatility. But when food and energy prices fall they count again because, ummm, elections?
Ronald Nadel
Ronald Nadel Dec 10, 2021 1:46AM ET
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Reuters is a left-wing media hatchet job…read the opposite of what they write to grasp the truth. If they were a newspaper, you would insult your canary.
Ricardo Diogo
Rcd72 Dec 10, 2021 12:33AM ET
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inflation in rocket launcher!
Michael Angelo
Michael Angelo Dec 09, 2021 11:15PM ET
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Sorry but... are the inflation numbers a secret until tomorrow or we're the only lDlOTS that are waiting for the news... c'mon.
MW Locks
MW Locks Dec 09, 2021 11:15PM ET
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They are secret unless you know the super secret clubhouse password.
Devin Murphy
Devin Murphy Dec 09, 2021 10:17PM ET
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Weimar when?
Sabi Sab
SabiSab Dec 09, 2021 9:10PM ET
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When our 'dear' president came out deliberately to talk down on those inflation data, they must be REALLY BAD!
Strat Afro
Strat Afro Dec 09, 2021 7:07PM ET
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'' Decreases such as the auto market'' MEANS IMMINENT RECESSION.  It's the economy stew/pit !? 🚬 🍸 be .
pcg upstate
pcg upstate Dec 09, 2021 6:10PM ET
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some of you still stand by your lame president, why????
By designe
Series3bydesign Dec 09, 2021 6:10PM ET
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To think that anyone in politics is for US is a joke.
Brian Cavanagh
Brian Cavanagh Dec 09, 2021 6:10PM ET
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because that's just who trump is- lame!
MW Locks
MW Locks Dec 09, 2021 6:10PM ET
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You sound a bit tired. Is it getting old yet for you too? God, it must really be exhausting since most people don't even care who the president is at any given moment. Yet somehow on and on I'm sure it will go, yelling at your own shadow.
Gus McCrae
Gus McCrae Dec 09, 2021 4:23PM ET
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Democrats are keen to make Trump win again in the next election
Brian Cavanagh
Brian Cavanagh Dec 09, 2021 4:23PM ET
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manley hall  he can barely waddle. How's he going to "run"?
Kingy Yu
Kingy Yu Dec 09, 2021 4:07PM ET
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Brandon should not be in the whitehouse in the fist place.
Brian Cavanagh
Brian Cavanagh Dec 09, 2021 4:07PM ET
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"The fist place" is in GOP voters who've been conned by trump, a loser I've known since the 1970's yet most Americans know him only from what the media have shown them. I knew people who worked with him who said he was very disorganized and did not know how to plan the most basic things.
 
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