President Joe Biden called out corporations for maintaining high prices even as inflation has slowed and some shipping costs have dropped. He made these remarks during Monday’s launch of the new White House supply chain initiative.
Inflation and Consumer Prices
Biden criticized companies that have not reduced their prices even as inflation and supply chains have improved. He called for an end to price-gouging and emphasized the need to give American consumers a break. While annual inflation rates have reduced from a summer high, this does not necessarily mean falling consumer prices. Instead, it indicates that prices are increasing at a slower rate.
Impact on Consumer Spending
Some consumer goods prices have decreased over the past year, leading to lower Thanksgiving costs and enabling consumers to have more money for activities like Black Friday shopping. The White House has positioned these pricing trends as a testament to the success of Bidenomics, the president’s economic agenda.
Public Perception and Approval Ratings
Despite the efforts to portray the president’s economic policies as successful, convincing voters has proven challenging. Polls consistently give President Biden low marks on his handling of the economy. However, the White House has acknowledged that many individuals do not perceive the positive economic changes.
President Biden’s Advocacy Against Junk Fees
Faced with skepticism, Biden directly addressed the issue of junk fees, which he argued are added by companies to consumer bills. The president stated that these fees deduct hundreds of dollars from consumer budgets, adding financial strain and making it challenging for families to pay bills. He claimed that consumers feel exploited and targeted through these fees.
Rising Prices Amid the Pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic significantly contributed to rising prices, with the average cost of all goods increasing by 13% over a two-year period. Food prices surged by 20%. A combination of pent-up consumer demand, pandemic economic stimulus, and ongoing supply chain disruptions fueled these price hikes.
Efforts to Address Supply Chain Challenges
In response to the compounding effect of the pandemic and supply chain issues, President Biden launched the Supply Chain Resilience Council. This council aims to sustain the economic recovery momentum. Additionally, the president announced 30 initiatives to alleviate supply chain pressures and prevent future shortages of essential products such as drugs and semiconductors.