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Monday, June 24, 2024

Inflation Rose More than Expected in Latest Data

The Consumer Price Index rose 0.3% in December alone, a break from the recent months of very low inflation...

(Consumer costs increased at an elevated level again in December, according to newly released federal economic data, raising new concerns about spiking inflation.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday released the Consumer Price Index, a key marker of inflation, showing the cost of a range of every day goods and services for Americans rose more than expected.

According to the federal data, the CPI rose 0.3% in December alone, a break from the recent months of very low inflation. Overall, prices rose 3.4% in the last 12 months.

Food prices rose 0.2% last month, and shelter prices rose 0.5%.

“The energy index rose 0.4 percent in December, after decreasing 2.3 percent in November,” BLS said. “The gasoline index increased 0.2 percent in December, following a 6.0-percent decrease in the previous month.”

Prices have risen about 17% since Biden took office, leaving the president’s critics with another reason to attack him heading into the 2024 election year.

Some prices fell below the average while others surpassed it. The cost of vehicle insurance rose 1.5% in December, and the cost of medical care rose 0.6%. The cost of prescription drugs fell 0.4% last month.

Economists reacted to the numbers Thursday with optimism, expecting that this is a bump in the road to overall lower inflation.

The Center Square’s Voter’s Voice poll released this week showed that Americans are unhappy with Biden’s job as president so far, including his work on the economy. As the Center Square previously reported, polling shows that 67% of those surveyed say the country is headed in the wrong direction.

The majority of surveyed Americans also say in the poll that they disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy.

The survey was conducted in conjunction with Noble Predictive Insights and queried 2,573 Americans from Jan 2-4, with a roughly equal number of Republicans and Democrats as well as 266 “true independents,” which are independents who report that they do not lean toward either the right or the left. The poll has a margin of error of about 2%.

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