The Biden economy continues to go above and beyond the expectations of economists, hitting milestones for inflation no one has seen in decades.
The consumer price index rose to an annual rate of 7.5%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday, the highest inflation rate reported in 40 years.
The agency said rising prices for food, electricity, and shelter were the largest contributors to a 0.6% seasonally adjusted increase in all prices in January. Food prices rose 0.9% last month, following a 0.5% increase in December. Energy prices also rose 0.9%, though the increase in electricity prices was partially offset by declines in gasoline and natural gas prices.
Excluding food and energy, the price index for all items rose 0.6% in January, the same as in December. This was the seventh time in the last 10 months those prices have increased at least 0.5%, according to BLS data.
The CPI increase of 7.5% over the last year is the largest 12-month increase recorded by the government since February 1982.
That number beat the Dow Jones estimate of 7.2%. And the 0.6% CPI increase for January was larger than the estimated 0.4% increase economists had expected, according to CNBC News.
Reacting to the news, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) claimed vindication for his staunch opposition to President Joe Biden's $1.75 trillion Build Back Better spending plan.
"For months, I have been ringing the alarm bell about inflation. Once again, we are witnessing that the threat of inflation is real. There is not a corner of this nation where hard-working families are able to escape the noticeable impact of this 'inflation tax,'" Manchin said in a statement.
"Inflation taxes are draining the hard-earned wages of every American, and it’s causing real and severe economic pain that can no longer be ignored. It’s beyond time for the Federal Reserve to tackle this issue head on, and Congress and the Administration must proceed with caution before adding more fuel to an economy already on fire. As inflation and our $30 trillion in national debt continue a historic climb, only in Washington, DC do people seem to think that spending trillions more of taxpayers’ money will cure our problems, let alone inflation," he added.
“We must get serious about the finances of our country. It’s time we start acting like stewards of our economy and the money the American people entrust their government with. Now, more than ever, we must remember it is not our money, it’s the American people’s money. It is not our economy, it’s their economy. We all have a responsibly to do all that is possible to roll back inflation and manage our debts because the longer we or the Federal Reserve waits to act, the more economic pain will be caused," Manchin said.
In December, Manchin said he could not support Biden's $1.75 trillion spending bill because of his concerns over mounting government debt and rising inflation. His opposition denied Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) the votes needed to pass the bill and infuriated Democrats.
Since then, the U.S. national debt has risen to more than $30 trillion dollars and inflation continues to rise each month.
The Federal Reserve has said it will begin to increase interest rates this year in an effort to combat rising prices, with the first rate hike expected in March.