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Voters say they care about inflation more than Gaza. Today’s numbers should worry Biden

The latest inflation numbers should give President Joe Biden pause.

On Wednesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its latest Consumer Price Index Summary report and found that inflation rose 0.3 points during April and that it jumped 3.4 per cent in the past twelve months.

That number is virtually the same as in March, when inflation increased 0.4 per cent and 3.4 per cent from March 2023 to March 2024.

As usual, gasoline prices and shelter — in other words, mainly cars and rent prices — played the biggest role in price increases. This time, it contributed more than 70 per cent to the increase in prices. Gasoline jumped 2.8 per cent in the past month when in October of last year, it had dropped 4.3 per cent and in March it rose only 1.7 per cent.

Meanwhile, rent and the owner’s equivalent of rent both jumped by 0.4 per cent in the past month. By comparison, food remained virtually unchanged. Food at home — meaning products like groceries — actually dropped by 0.2 per cent.

Inflation has been Biden’s most persistent enemy throughout his presidency. Rising prices have soured Americans on the president, despite a hot labor market where wages are up. Indeed, earlier this month, the BLS’s jobs report found that despite jobs numbers underperforming expectations, the United States has experienced its longest streak of unemployment being below 4 per cent since the late 1960s.

Nevertheless, the latest numbers are a blow to Biden. A New York Times/Siena College poll released this week found that while most Americans consider the economy — namely jobs, and the strength of stock market — their top issue, inflation and the cost of living is also extremely important to them. Indeed, it outpaces Gaza as an issue among every

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