US consumer prices rose last month at a rate not seen in nearly 40 years, the government reported Friday, underscoring how inflation threatens the world’s largest economy and President Joe Biden’s public support.
The Labor Department’s consumer price index (CPI) jumped 6.8 percent compared to November of last year, its biggest gain since June 1982 as prices for gasoline, used cars, rent, food and other goods continued to climb.
While the report contained signs that the inflation wave may be reaching a crest, it nonetheless poses a political liability for the president, with the Republican opposition using it to argue against his economic policies.
Biden countered that the report did not encompass recent declines in prices of energy and used cars, two main drivers of the high inflation readings seen this year, and that supply chain issues which have driven prices higher are being resolved.
“Today’s numbers reflect the pressures that economies around the world are facing as we emerge from a global pandemic — prices are rising,” Biden said in a statement, adding that “price and cost increase are slowing, although not as quickly as we’d like.”