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White House expects big price hikes in March CPI report


Jen Psaki is the White House press secretary and answers queries during the daily briefing held in Washington DC on March 09th, 2022. Psaki responded to a number of questions, mostly about Russia’s invasion Ukraine.

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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 the global disruptions to energy and food market systems.”

On Tuesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will announce 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 cell phones and unleaded gasoline.

Two versions of CPI data are considered by economists: the headline print, which includes all prices that consumers will face and a core CPI, which excludes volatile energy and food price fluctuations.

The White House claims that it expects there to be an increase in the core CPI and headline CPI numbers due to the unusual rise in gasoline prices in March. According to American Automobile Association (AAA), the record price per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline was $4.33 as of March 11.

AAA reports that the gallon price dropped to $4.11 per gallon.

Psaki stated that gas prices at times were higher than one dollar before the invasion. Therefore, a roughly 25% rise in gas prices would drive inflation tomorrow.

Labor Department data shows that prices have risen year-over-year since Ronald Reagan was president. This was evident in the February reading by the department. benchmark consumer inflation index rose 7.9% over the last 12 months, the highest level since January 1982.

The March Consumer Price Report from the Labor Department is due out on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. ET.

According to the press secretary, President Joe BidenSeveral steps have been taken to lower energy prices, such as his move to release about 1 million barrels of oil a dayFrom the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

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Biden, on March 31, blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin (last day of March) for recent increases in energy costs.

Russian oil is being boycotted by many people around the globe. 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.

He added, “But as I stated at the time it’s coming with a cost,” 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.