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Biden Says Will Not Take Blame for US Inflation

© AFP 2023 / MANDEL NGANUS President Joe Biden makes his way to board Marine One before departing from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on January 4, 2023
US President Joe Biden makes his way to board Marine One before departing from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on January 4, 2023 - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.02.2023
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - President Joe Biden on Friday refused to take the blame for the runaway inflation in the United States, saying he inherited, not created, the problem.
“Am I taking blame for inflation? No. Because it was already there when I got here, man,” he said, answering a reporter’s question at the White House where he held a media briefing on the economy that discussed sterling jobs growth for January.
Biden said the economy he inherited, right after lockdowns and other disruptions related to the coronavirus pandemic, was chaotic, compared to its transition since to relatively stable growth and the strongest labor market in over 50 years.
“Remember what the economy was like, when I got here, jobs were hemorrhaging, inflation was rising, we weren't manufacturing a damn thing here. We were in real economic difficulty, that's why I don't [take blame],” he added.
Biden was speaking after the U.S. Labor Department reported a non-farm payrolls growth for January that was almost three times above forecast, throwing a fresh challenge to the Federal Reserve’s hopes of seeing a cooling of the labor market and wages to get inflation to its target.
Some 517,000 jobs were added to the US economy last month, versus a forecast 188,000 and against December’s revised growth of 260,000. Average monthly wages have also grown without stop since March 2021. The outperformance of the labor market pushed the US unemployment rate down to 3.4%, the lowest since 1969, from December’s 3.5%. The Fed identifies any jobless rate of 4% and below as "maximum employment."
The Federal Reserve building is pictured in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 22, 2018. - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.02.2023
US Federal Reserve Raises Interest Rates by 25 Basis Points in Bid to Ease Inflation
Since Biden took office, his administration also has worked on returning crucial industries to the United States, with chip manufacturing being one of them — an initiative that added almost 700,000 jobs.
But inflation has remained a problem. Inflation, as measured by the CPI, or Consumer Price Index, hit four-decade highs in June when it expanded at 9.1% yearly from the impact of trillions of dollars of relief spending during the pandemic.
In December, the CPI grew at 6.5% per annum, its slowest since October 2021. Still, that was more than three times the Fed’s target of 2% per annum.
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