Joe Biden has warned Americans that the rapid pace of job creation likely will not continue – but insisted that there was no need to panic over the looming economic storm.
The consumer price index has increased 8.3 percent from a year ago, the latest data shows.
The figures, from April, represent a slight ease from March’s peak but were still close to the highest level since the summer of 1982.
Real wages adjusted for inflation decreased 0.1 percent on the month, despite a nominal increase of 0.3 percent in average hourly earnings. Over the past year, real earnings have dropped 2.6 percent even though average hourly earnings are up 5.5 percent.
Biden, writing an op ed in The Wall Street Journal on Monday, said he understood the hardships felt by ordinary Americans – but insisted they needed to be braced for further slowdowns.
Joe Biden is seen on Monday, at the Memorial Day wreath laying at Arlington National Cemetery. The president is warning that job growth may not remain at its present high level
Inflation hit a four-decade high in March, falling slighting in April to a still significant high of 8.3 percent
Jerome Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve, will meet Biden on Tuesday
‘With the right policies, the U.S. can transition from recovery to stable, steady growth and bring down inflation without giving up all these historic gains,’ Biden wrote.
‘During this transition, growth will look different. We will likely see fewer record job-creation numbers, but this won’t be cause for concern.
‘Rather, if average monthly job creation shifts in the next year from current levels of 500,000 to something closer to 150,000, it will be a sign that we are successfully moving into the next phase of recovery—as this kind of job growth is consistent with a low unemployment rate and a healthy economy.’
He said he understood the concern over the economic future, but wanted to reassure the nation that there was no need for alarm.
‘Americans are anxious,’ he wrote.
‘I know that feeling. I grew up in a family where it mattered when the price of gas or groceries rose. We felt it around the kitchen table.
‘But the American people should have confidence that our economy faces these challenges from a position of strength.’
Biden pointed out that the country now had more savings and less debt, and claimed to have presided over ‘the most robust recovery in modern history’.
He said his country was now better positioned to weather the financial storms than almost any other.
‘The U.S. economy may grow faster this year than China’s economy for the first time since 1976,’ he said.
Biden said that he would respect the Fed’s independence, and accept their guidance.
As of Monday the average price of gas is nearly $4.62 per gallon
He said gas prices were rising in a large part thanks to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and said his decision to release oil reserves was helping to ease the pressure. The president urged Congress to pass the ‘clean energy tax credits and investments that I have proposed.’
He noted: ‘A dozen CEOs of America’s largest utility companies told me earlier this year that my plan would reduce the average family’s annual utility bills by $500 and accelerate our transition from energy produced by autocrats.’
Biden promised to continue to work to improve supply chains and enhance infrastructure.
And he said he would continue to work to reduce the federal deficit, in part by improving the efficiency of the tax system and closing loopholes allowing billionaires to get away without paying their fair share.
He concluded by stressing that he was open to hearing suggestions from others, and working with his political rivals to reach agreements.
‘The economic policy choices we make today will determine whether a sustained recovery that benefits all Americans is possible,’ he said.
‘I will work with anyone—Democrat, Republican, or independent—willing to have an open and honest discussion that delivers real solutions for the American people.’