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President Joe Biden has faced criticism for falsely claiming on two separate occasions that the inflation rate was 9% when he began his presidency. Former president and current presidential rival Donald Trump was among those who criticized Biden for this claim. In reality, the year-over-year inflation rate in January 2021, the month of Biden’s inauguration, was about 1.4%. The peak inflation rate during Biden’s presidency did reach 9.1%, but that occurred in June 2022, more than 16 months after he took office. The most recent available inflation rate in March 2024 was around 3.5%, which was up from about 3.2% the month prior.

Despite Biden’s claims, inflation is actually higher now than it was when he first took office, although it has seen a significant decline since the peak in June 2022. The peak in inflation followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, which led to global increases in energy and food prices. It is important to note that inflation was unusually low during the end of the Trump presidency due to the economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Biden’s recent false claims about inflation are reminiscent of a previous false claim he made in October 2022 regarding gas prices, in which he inaccurately portrayed a figure from June 2022 as the starting point of his presidency.

The White House did not offer a comment in response to Biden’s claim about inflation in his CNN interview last week, nor did they immediately provide a comment when asked about his repetition of the claim to Yahoo Finance. According to FactCheck.org, a White House official stated that Biden was conveying that factors contributing to the spike in inflation, such as global supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic, were already in place before he took office. The April 2024 inflation rate is set to be revealed on Wednesday with the release of new Consumer Price Index data. Additionally, separate Producer Price Index data released on Tuesday indicated the highest wholesale inflation rate in a year.

Overall, President Joe Biden’s repeated false claims about the inflation rate at the start of his presidency have sparked criticism and raised concerns about his understanding of economic data. While Biden has inaccurately stated that inflation was at 9% when he took office, the actual inflation rate in January 2021 was around 1.4%. The peak inflation rate under Biden’s presidency occurred in June 2022, reaching 9.1%, following global price increases triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Despite Biden’s claims suggesting a decrease in inflation since he took office, the most recent available rate in March 2024 was approximately 3.5%, indicating a significant decrease from the peak. Additionally, Biden’s recent false claims about inflation mirror a previous inaccurate statement he made regarding gas prices in October 2022, where he misrepresented data from June 2022 as the starting point of his presidency.

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