Jul 19, 2021 - Economy

Biden pushes back on inflation fears

President Biden walking to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House July 16.

President Biden walking to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, July 16. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

"Our experts believe and the data shows that most of the price increases we've seen were expected and are expected to be temporary," President Biden said at the White House Monday, pushing back against fears of persistent inflation.

Why it matters: The White House, which has argued that inflation issues are short term, is concerned that fears of rising prices could derail Biden's legislative agenda, which includes massive spending packages.

  • Prices for many goods and services have increased at higher-than-expected levels in recent months, contributing to fears of long-term price hikes.
  • Republicans have cited rising prices to rally against Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill and his proposed infrastructure plan.

What he's saying: "Look, we brought this economy back from the brink," Biden said. "There are going to be ups and downs."

  • "Reality is you can't flip the global economic light back on and not expect this to happen. As demand returns, there's going to be global supply chain challenges," he added.
  • "That's a real challenge. My administration is doing everything we can to address it. But, again, these disruptions are temporary."
  • "I want to be clear. My administration understands if we were to experience unchecked inflation over the long term, that would pose a real challenge to our economy. So, while we're confident that isn't what we're seeing today, we're going to remain vigilant about any response that is needed."

Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell and his colleagues have said for months that the inflation was "transitory," caused by the country emerging from the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The bond market is also signaling that investors believe elevated levels of inflation will be transitory.

Yes, but: Powell told the Senate Banking Committee last week that he believes the country is experiencing an uptick in inflation "bigger than many expected."

  • CEOs of major corporations have also warned that they believe the inflation is not temporary and may raise the prices they charge.
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