Biden takes credit for easing inflation, strong job market as GOP polls better on economy

U.S. President Joe Biden gives a thumb up after delivering remarks on his efforts to curb so-called junk fees, from the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, October 11, 2023.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden lauded Thursday’s Labor Department report showing relatively stable inflation, taking credit for a recent spate of positive economic news.

The consumer price index, a key inflation gauge, increased 0.4% in September and 3.7% compared to a year ago. The numbers were slightly above Dow Jones estimates of 0.3% and 3.6%.

The president is slated to meet with CEOs from a range of companies this afternoon to hear their viewpoints on the economy while he outlines his administration’s initiatives. Republicans consistently poll better than Democrats on dealing with economic issues, a hurdle Biden is trying to overcome as the 2024 election looms. An NBC News poll released in September found 49% of Americans think Republicans handle the economy better, versus 28% for Democrats, among the highest numbers in the poll’s history.

“This morning’s report shows core inflation fell to its lowest level in two years,” Biden said in a statement Thursday. “Overall inflation is down by 60% from its peak at a time when unemployment has remained below 4% for 20 months in a row and the share of working-age Americans in the workforce is the highest in 20 years.”

Core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, increased 0.3% over the last month and 4.1% compared to a year ago. Both numbers met expectations.

The release follows a blowout September jobs report showing the best monthly payroll number since January. Nonfarm payrolls in September increased by 336,000 for the month, nearly double the Dow Jones consensus estimate of 170,000 and more than 100,000 higher than the previous month. The Labor Department also upwardly revised the jobs numbers for August and July.

The president hailed the recent economic numbers as “Bidenomics in action.”

“I’ll continue to fight to build an economy from the middle out and bottom up — even as Republicans in Congress make reckless threats to weaken our economy, prioritize tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations, and push for deep cuts to programs that are essential for hardworking Americans and seniors,” Biden said.

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