Despite falling inflation rates, American consumers are still upset with Biden as prices for basics including gas and milk remain higher than 2019.
Some have said his re-election campaign’s decision to brand the economy under his name, Bidenomics, is looking like an early blunder as consumers voice their disappointment of his handling of the economy post-pandemic.
According to Axios polling Americans’ perception of the economy is sour with some Democrats openly criticizing Biden’s campaign strategy, which appears to be in denial of current events.
The disappointment comes from the notion that consumers are typically focused on the absolute price of things they need in their everyday lives – which remain steep.
Prices for many items this year, though rising more slowly than last, remain well above prices seen before the COVID-19 pandemic and don’t look likely to return anytime soon.
Despite falling inflation rates, American consumers are still upset with Biden as prices for basics including gas and milk remain higher than 2019
According to the Labor Department consumer-price index was 3.7 percent in August, sharply down from the 9.1 percent peak in June 2022.
However, the all items index increased 3.7 percent for the 12 months ending August, a larger increase than the 3.2 percent increase for the 12 months ending in July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
For consumers, prices at the grocery store and gas station are noticeably higher than in recent memory.
A gallon of whole milk in August cost $3.93 on average, according to the Labor Department, which was nearly $1 or 29 percent higher than in August 2019.
Meanwhile, a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline cost $3.84 on average last month, 46 percent higher than the $2.63 a gallon four years earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported.
‘The fact that inflation has come down doesn’t mean prices have come down,’ said senior economist at Wells Fargo, Tim Quinlan to the outlet.
‘For consumers, as long as prices remain elevated, which is what they are from their perspective, it still kind of weighs on confidence.’
Joanne Hsu, director of the University of Michigan survey, said that Americans are still adjusting after close to a decade of low inflation leading up to the pandemic.
‘Consumers understand that we’re not going back to 2019, but they’re still trying to figure out what this new normal looks like,’ Hsu explained to the outlet.
‘People are still trying to figure out, can their incomes keep pace with inflation or is inflation just going to keep eroding their living standards?’
Meanwhile, a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline cost $3.84 on average last month, 46 percent higher than the $2.63 a gallon four years earlier
A gallon of whole milk in August cost $3.93 on average, according to the Labor Department, which was nearly $1 or 29 percent higher than in August 2019
Chief economist at RSM, Joe Brusuelas, said declines in prices aren’t ‘desirable for the economy’ but consumers are ‘angry that the price level has reset higher on a permanent basis.’
Dean of agricultural sciences at Oklahoma State University, Jayson Lusk, told WSJ that prices for some food items might fall back if they rose from specific setbacks to the industry.
He used avian flu as an example noting that a dozen eggs jumped from $1.93 in January 2022 to $4.82 in January 2023, but was down to $2.04 by August.
Lusk said the prices of groceries and dining out were likely to remain elevated for some time however with wages a large contributor as employer’s struggle to build staff.
‘It is true that what happens on the farm affects food prices, but it generally is a small part of the overall cost of food,’ Lusk said.
‘The labor market continues to be tight and that’s putting pressure on prices.
Speaking to Politico, Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.) said: ‘We have to do a better job framing this not so much for one person — for the office of the presidency — but for the people.
‘I’ve never understood why you would brand an economy in your name when the economy hasn’t fully recovered yet,’ Michael LaRosa, a former spokesman for Jill Biden, also told the publication.
Meanwhile, liberal economist James Galbraith wrote: ‘Whatever stories Americans are told about the strength of the economy under President Joe Biden, they are not going to be persuaded to look past the issue of their own living standards.’
Biden’s economic approval rating sits at 37 percent, with 59 percent of respondents expressing disapproval of his performance according to a new NBC poll
Biden appears to be gearing his campaign towards the working-class American and has argued that the nation’s economy is ‘leading the world, lauding his position at the helm for bringing the U.S. back from the brink.
Last month, Biden gave a speech on Bidenomics at Prince George’s County, Maryland, and said: ‘For the first time in a long time, we’ve climbed out of our great economic crisis. It’s beginning to work for working people.’
As his campaign ads circulate ahead of the looming election, Biden has praised his passage of COVID emergency funds, the bipartisan infrastructure law, the Inflation Reduction Act and funding for semiconductor manufacturing.
His target audience doesn’t seem satisfied by his attempts to win them over with polling showing those living paycheck to paycheck disillusioned by the economy.
Biden’s economic approval rating sits at 37 percent, with 59 percent of respondents expressing disapproval of his performance according to a new NBC poll.
The NBC survey showed that Republicans hold a whopping 21-point advantage over Democrats on the economy 49 percent to 28 percent, the largest lead Republicans have held in 32 years.
Meanwhile, it shows Democrats only hold a 2-point edge 36 percent to 34 percent on looking out for the middle class, an area in which the party typically holds a significant advantage.