Consumer prices in the United States reached a new peak of 9.1% in June, which further burdens American families and adds more pressure on Pres. Joe Biden, whose approval ratings are known to be taking a beating due to the continuous rise in prices.
On Wednesday, newly-published data from the government revealed a sharp increase in the consumer price index, which surged at a faster rate than expected compared to that May. This has been driven by the significant surge in gasoline prices.
According to the Labor Department, the CPI spike at 9.1% over the past year up to June was the fastest increase since November 1981.
Energy made up half of the monthly increase as gasoline went up by 11.2% last month and 59.9% over the past year. Overall, the energy prices the country has recently seen have been the biggest annual increase since April 1980.
Biden, as he acknowledged that the inflation rate was “unacceptably high,” claimed that it was “out of date” because it failed to reflect the clear drop in the price of energy since the middle of June.
The AAA said the national average gas prices at the pump went down to $4.65 per gallon, from $5.01 a month ago.
The recent drop in prices provided “important breathing room for American families. And, other commodities like wheat have fallen sharply since this report,” Biden said in a statement.
Biden insisted that tackling the inflation crisis was their top priority, but he also admitted that his administration must “make more progress, more quickly, in getting price increases under control.”
The Ukraine-Russia war has forced food and global energy prices higher, and the gas prices in the U.S. at the pump in June reached a record of over $5 per gallon.
However, energy prices have calmed down in the past few weeks, with oil prices going under $100 per barrel for the first time in around three months, which could help ease some of the pressure on consumers.
The Fed will likely continue its interest rate increase while it tries to curb the price surge by easing demand prior to inflation becoming entrenched.
Last month, the U.S. central bank implemented the largest rate hike in almost three decades. With this, economists predict another ¾-point increase will likely happen later this month.