While inflation is near impossible for journalists to ignore, they still work to avoid the core truths on the economy.
When it comes to the nation’s economic outlook you get a sense of how bad things might be with the diminished amount of rosy reporting on the inflation data. We no longer get the rosy projections and the upbeat interpretations from previous months, made in the effort to burnish President Biden’s performance. Even so, there is still a notable reticence to outlay the blame properly, and the revealing aspect is in what is not reported.
With the release of the July numbers from the Labor Department, the Consumer Price Index showed a 0.5% uptick in July, bringing overall prices to a 5.4% rise for the 12 month period. In the effort to find a silver lining (the price of which probably rose as well) it is said to be good news that the rise in prices was not as sharp as last month, even though the 12-month pace was on track with June’s rate, which was at a 12 year high — so the good news is that things were not actually worse.
What you will notice is that two things go unrecognized in most of the press details in this report. Covering the sharp-but-not-as-sharp-as-feared rise in prices you will be hard-pressed to find anyone alluding to the promises we had from the White House on the way prices were alleged to be dropping. Recall the messaging we received about how our 4th of July food supplies were going down in price? Well, let’s revisit that since most in the press are denying this took place.
Planning a cookout this year? Ketchup on the news. According to the Farm Bureau, the cost of a 4th of July BBQ is down from last year. It’s a fact you must-hear(d). Hot dog, the Biden economic plan is working. And that’s something we can all relish. pic.twitter.com/7h9qLauIbC
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 1, 2021
This wishcasting by the administration was met at the time with looks of consternation from anyone who had been to a grocer in recent weeks. Now we see that not only were they trying to will lower prices into becoming a reality but that what they were most certainly doing was the equivalent of selling us tofu while telling us it was brisket.
The CPI for food rose 0.7 percent in July and 3.4 percent over the past 12 months, far higher than the 2.4 percent annual increase seen in June. Prices for food away from home rose 0.8 percent in July, reflecting the rush of demand and the impact of supply chain disruption on restaurants.
Still want to insist we saved $0.16 on mustard, Joe?
The other aspect the media will not acknowledge is that these numbers are bad (and the trend is showing it is not a temporary hike due to the opening of the economy) without the impact of the infrastructure bill being implemented. That monstrosity of a spending proposal is set to be passed, with trillions set to be spent, further diluting the dollar once it gets passed.
The press is hesitant to take too critical of an approach to Biden in general, and there is every effort made to avoid casting blame on him here. Reuters is hoping this is a sign inflation is ebbing. CNN declared inflation is moderating, while attributing this rise to “pandemic-era inflation weirdness.” That’s a new wrinkle to the “Unexpectedly” reports we normally get served when these bad numbers continue to arrive on a monthly basis.