The White House appeared to sigh with relief after the release of data suggesting inflation eased in April, but President Joe Biden stressed he understood the continued pressures on household budgets.
"This morning’s decline in inflation is a sign of progress, even as we have more work to do," Biden said Friday in a statement. "At the same time, inflation is still too high and Putin’s price hike continues to impact food and energy prices."
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Inflation, based on the personal consumption expenditures price index, decreased to 6.3% in the 12 months ending in April, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The report, published Friday, marks the first decline since December 2020.
Core PCE, which does not account for food or energy prices, also fell for the third consecutive month. Core PCE is now 4.9%, indicating inflation may have peaked and is trending downward.
Biden said his economic recovery plan included ensuring the Federal Reserve remained independent so it could "do its job" and eventually "lower families’ costs, and lower the federal deficit." The president did not mention any other steps he was taking but criticized a proposal by Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL). Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has distanced himself from Scott's framework, yet Democrats have kept attacking it, contending Scott is chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
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"Congressional Republicans have a different economic plan, which would increase taxes on working families and put programs like Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block every five years," Biden said. "That’s not the way forward to transition from what has been an historic economic recovery to stable, steady growth that works for working families."