WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is bracing for Tuesday’s key consumer inflation report to show that the prices Americans pay soared in March, as Russia’s assault on Ukraine caused energy prices to jump.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that the Labor Department’s previous report — which showed prices rising at a dramatic rate in February — failed to include the majority of the jump in oil and gas costs caused by the Kremlin’s unprovoked invasion.
Psaki said to reporters, “We expect March CPI headline inflation to be extraordinarily high due to Putin’s increase in prices.”
“We expect a significant difference between core inflation and headline inflation,” she said. “Reflecting global disruptions of energy and food market.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Tuesday issue its March update to the consumer price index,CPI. The CPI is the department’s tool for measuring inflation in a basket of goods and services that the average American would buy — ranging from eggs and milk to cellphones and unleaded gasoline.
Economists look at two types of CPI data. The headline CPI number includes all prices faced by consumers, while the so-called core CPI excludes volatile foods and energy price fluctuations.
The White House claims that it expects there to be an increase in the core and headline readings as a result of the unusually large rise in gasoline prices last month. According to the American Automobile Association, the price of a gallon regular unleaded gasoline reached a new record of $4.33 in March 2011.
AAA reports that the gallon price dropped to $4.11 per gallon.
Psaki explained that at times gas prices were over one dollar higher than pre-invasion levels. So, an approximately 25% rise in gasoline prices will cause tomorrow’s inflation reading.
For several months, Labor Department data have shown that price increases year over year are at levels never seen since Ronald Reagan’s time in office. According to the February reading benchmark consumer inflation index rose 7.9% over the last 12 months, the highest level since January 1982.
The March report can be found here due out on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. ET.
According to the press secretary, President Joe BidenA number of steps have been taken to lower energy prices, including the move to release about 1 million barrels of oil a dayFrom the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Biden blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin, for the recent increase in energy costs on March 31st.
Many people no longer buy Russian oil in the rest of the world. It was a request by Republicans and Democrats to ban Russian-imported crude oil in America. I support the move. Biden declared that it was right to do so on March 31.
The president said, “But, as I stated at the time it’s going with a price,” he added. As Russian oil is removed from the international market, oil supply drops and oil prices rise. Americans will feel the pinch from Putin’s increase in oil prices.
Stalled legislation — key components of the president’s Build Back Better agenda — backed by the White House and congressional Democrats could also help cut child-care and health-care costs, Psaki added.