President Joe Biden’s worst nightmare as he prepares for 2024 is returning. Soaring costs that are led upwards by energy price spikes are now combined with months of real wage decreases for American voters.
Consumer Price Index numbers are in for March, and they are not pretty. The headline figure was 0.1%, rounding out a 12-month increase of 5%. And the core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, jumped 0.4% month-over-month for a 12-month surge of 5.6%
For further perspective, Biden’s 26 months in the White House have seen Americans shouldered with inflation above 5% for 23 of them.
To make matters worse for the Democratic administration, gas prices are again on the increase. A combination of rising demand and cuts by OPEC+ and Russia are putting the squeeze on American wallets at the pump.
👀This #CPI report is unfriendly.
Both core and supercore were up 0.4% month-over-month, which is still too high.
Although headline inflation was weak due to energy, oil prices have increased by nearly 20% since mid-March, so that is old news and will be reversed in the next… https://t.co/jJyrio5d8k
— Harrison | Trader & Investor (@harrisonfromnyc) April 12, 2023
Fuel prices jumped 8.8 cents per gallon last week, and a gallon of regular gas now averages $3.57 nationwide.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites shelter as leading inflation through the roof. Called the “largest contributor” by far to the monthly increase, shelter costs have now jumped 8.3% in just the last 12 months.
Of course, the Biden administration will undoubtedly claim that the latest CPI shows that its agenda is on track. That sentiment, however, is not shared by the majority of Americans who deal with soaring inflation every day.
The pain of coping with rising prices is across the board. Transportation services have surged 13.9% in the last 12 months, food is 8.5% higher, electricity costs rose 10%, and gas service costs jumped 5.5%.
The gas costs are part of the energy wave sweeping over consumers. As natural gas is a key component for electricity generation and remains in short supply, experts anticipate electricity prices to soar another 10% in 2023 and possibly 2024.
This is a far cry from overall inflation, which some predict will ease to roughly 4% or less by year’s end.
And it’s bad news for the Biden administration. Nothing advertises rising prices quite like those universal signs in front of gas stations from coast to coast. And along with opponents’ campaign signs, those spell trouble for this Democratic administration.