W.H. Council of Economic Advisers’ Bernstein: We Didn’t Get Inflation Wrong, Rate of Inflation Was Lower in December

On Wednesday’s “CNN Newsroom,” White House Council of Economic Advisers member Jared Bernstein said that he doesn’t think the Biden administration got the duration of inflation wrong because the rate of inflation was lower in December than it was in October and November.

Co-host Jim Sciutto asked, “This is a severe inflation number. Jay Powell admitted that the Fed believed that the root causes behind this inflation would alleviate more quickly. Did the White House get this wrong? And why wasn’t the administration better prepared?”

Bernstein responded, “No, I wouldn’t say we got it wrong in the following sense: It’s really important to get under the hood of these monthly inflation reports. And if you look at the change from November to December, inflation is up half a percent. That’s considerably down from October and November, when inflation was up .8 and .9%, respectively. One reason why inflation came down in December — why the rate of inflation was slower in December is because energy prices actually fell after growing 6% in October and November. They actually fell half a percent in December. The president has consistently said there are two key components to this recovery, and here, I think he’s in sync with Chair Powell: One is to maintain the strongest labor market we’ve seen, and we are posting historic numbers in that regard. The other is to do everything we can to unsnarl supply chains, which, by the way, are jammed across the world. This high inflation problem is a global problem, and to try to bring down price pressures through those efforts.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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