The new CPI numbers came out Wednesday morning, clocking in at a hefty 8.3 percent. Per CNN:
The Consumer Price Index was up 8.3% in the 12 months ended in April, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday, slightly higher than economists had predicted. It was a decrease from the 8.5% recorded in March, which had been the highest level in more than 40 years.
Note the spin from CNN (and much of the legacy media):
US inflation took a breather last month for the first time since August. Prices still increased, but at a slower pace than in previous months.
I’m not so sure I’d characterize 8.3 percent as “a breather.” I’m with Jim Geraghty on this:
Can you look at these numbers and really characterize it as “inflation took a breather”? https://t.co/0GQftRM4NI
— Jim Geraghty (@jimgeraghty) May 11, 2022
True, it’s not the 8.5 percent of March, but let’s take a look back over the current administration’s tenure, helpfully shared by Senator Ted Cruz’s Special Advisor for Communications, Steve Guest:
Year-over-year inflation since Biden took office:
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) May 11, 2022
I’m also not sure that everyday Americans emptying out their wallets at the gas station and grocery store feel like they’re getting much of a breather. As we reported yesterday, gas prices have hit an all-time high. In addition to critical shortages, even when staple items are available, they’re costing us significantly more.
Washington Post economic columnist Heather Long provides a helpful illustration:
Here’s where Americans are seeing big jumps in prices:
Gas +44% y/y
Utility gas 23%
Used cars 23%
New cars 14%
Health insurance 10%
— Heather Long (@byHeatherLong) May 11, 2022
We’re not just seeing them — we’re feeling them. And President Biden’s “assurances” to the contrary, we most certainly are focused on what this administration is — and isn’t — doing in response.
Trust me, the American people would welcome an actual breather. If this .2 percent reduction in the rate of inflation translates into a continued downward trend in the coming months, then great. For now, color me skeptical.
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