The federal government released its latest inflation data on Tuesday, drawing fresh fire for President Joe Biden as the cost of living rises.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released its consumer price index that rose 0.5% in January, part of a 6.4% increase from last year. That was a big increase from December, when prices rose just 0.1%.
Notably, the cost of accommodation, food and gas have risen significantly.
“The index for shelter was the largest contributor to the monthly all-item increase, accounting for nearly half of the monthly all-item increase, with indices for food, gasoline, and natural gas also contributing,” the BLS said.
According to the BLS, shelter costs rose 0.7% in January and 7.9% over the past year.
Prices are now up 14.4% since President Biden took office.
“This past month saw increases in shelter, food, and energy costs across the board,” Sen. said Katie Boyd Britt, R-Ala “Alabama families, retirees, and small businesses are being crushed at every turn.”
The energy index rose 2% in January, with gasoline up 2.4%.
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As The Center Square previously reported, food and energy costs rose faster than the overall trend, with food costs increasing 10.1% over the past year and energy costs increasing 8.7%.
Food spending rose 0.5% in January. Democrats and some experts argue that inflation is cooling, pointing out that these increases are smaller than the high spikes when inflation peaked before the Biden administration.
“Democrats continue to claim that inflation is going down under Biden,” said Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo. “Do they understand that Americans don’t get back the thousands of dollars they spend as a result of peak 9% inflation? Americans are fiscally worse off under Biden.”
Biden pointed to annual growth of 6.4%, which is down significantly from last year.
“Today’s data shows annual inflation has been falling for seven straight months, real wages for working Americans have risen during that time, and food and gas prices are falling — giving families breathing room,” Biden said. “While unemployment is at its lowest level since 1969 and job growth has been steady.”
As the need for a debt ceiling deal grows, Republicans point to the latest inflation spike as a reason to cut federal spending.
“House Republicans’ first step in fighting inflation is to end the wasteful spending in Washington that has robbed workers of two months’ pay and jeopardized America’s long-term fiscal health,” said Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo. “With ongoing discussions on the debt ceiling, President Biden and congressional Democrats have an opportunity to come to the table and work with Republicans to find common-sense solutions to eliminate the wasteful spending that fuels inflation.”
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The Federal Reserve is expected to continue raising rates this year to combat higher prices.
“Markets were warned that the inflation report could signal that still high rent prices, combined with higher gasoline prices last month, would underscore the Fed’s message that more work is needed to combat inflation,” said Quincy Crosby, chief global strategist at LPL. financial “Futures markets understood the Fed’s message and added another rate hike for 2023, with March and May Fed meetings announcing rate hikes.”
Syndicated with permission from Center Square.