Federal Reserve board member James Bullard said the inflation numbers meant the Fed needed to mull an inter-meeting increase. Bullard suggested that hikes totaling 100 basis points would be required by July 1.
Skyrocketing inflation has eroded wage gains of 5.7% last year and weakened the purchasing power of American households, AFR reported. On Thursday the White House outlined what it called a “comprehensive strategy” to lower costs for working families. President Joe Biden said that his administration would be “all hands on deck” to combat inflation.
“On higher prices, we have been using every tool at our disposal, and while today is a reminder that Americans’ budgets are being stretched in ways that create real stress at the kitchen table, there are also signs that we will make it through this challenge,” Biden said.
Republican Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell was quick to jump on the news, saying that anyone who hadn’t received at least an 8% pay raise had been given a pay cut by Democrats’ policies, AFR reported.
The inflation numbers reinforce the Federal Reserve’s intention to start hiking rates next month, and have already altered market expectations. Matthew Luzzetti, chief US economist at Deutsche Bank, changed his outlook on a March hike after the figures were released, AFR reported.