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Biden Says Inflation Is Worse in Every Other Major Country. Here’s What the Data Says.

President Biden falsely claimed Thursday that soaring prices in the U.S. can’t be his fault because inflation is higher in “every other major industrial country.”

SO WHAT

Biden’s famous knowledge of international affairs fails once again.

THE CLAIM

In an Oval Office interview with The Associated Press Thursday, Biden denied that the $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package he signed into law last March has contributed to the worst inflation in more than 40 years.

“If it’s my fault, why is it the case in every other major industrial country in the world that inflation is higher?” the president asked.

  • Confronted with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s recent concession that the stimulus may have “modestly” boosted inflation, Biden said: “I don’t think it did. And most economists do not think that.”

THE FACTS

While Biden is correct that inflation is a global problem, fueled by COVID-19-related supply chain issues and the Russia-Ukraine war, America is actually suffering more price increases than almost any other developed country.

  • The official U.S. inflation rate was 8.6% in May, higher than in all but three of the G20 high-income nations: Spain, 8.7%; the Netherlands, 8.8%; and the United Kingdom, 9%.

An analysis published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco March 28 found that the U.S. inflation rate shot way above the average of eight other wealthy countries starting in early 2021.

(Source: Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

The authors were clear about the culprit: “Estimates suggest that fiscal support measures designed to counteract the severity of the pandemic’s economic effect may have contributed to this divergence by raising inflation about 3 percentage points by the end of 2021.”

  • So much for Biden’s supposed economic consensus that he didn’t do it.
  • BY THE WAY: Biden himself suggested in November that the stimulus was driving up prices, calling it a “real problem.”

WHAT’S NEXT

The White House’s talking point that an impending U.S. economic recession is “not inevitable” — which Biden reiterated to The AP — has also started to look increasingly dubious.

  • A majority of economists and financial experts surveyed last month by CNBC said the Federal Reserve’s campaign to tamp down on inflation with interest rate hikes will lead to extended economic contraction.
  • Of the 57% of respondents who predicted a recession, 43% thought it would be mild, and 53% thought it would be moderate.

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