Inflation Jumps More Than Expected in January

News comes as Biden spikes ball on U.S. economy

February 14, 2023

Consumer prices in January rose more than expected, signaling persistent inflation even as President Joe Biden claims record-high prices are coming to an end.

Inflation rose by 0.5 percent last month, following a 0.1 percent increase in December, the Labor Department announced on Tuesday. The consumer price index, a measure of the average prices of commonly bought items, is up 6.4 percent from the same time last year.

Economists told Dow Jones they expected inflation to rise 0.4 percent and the CPI to be up 6.2 percent. The numbers come one week after Biden touted his economic policies at the State of the Union address.

"We have more to do, but here at home, inflation is coming down," the president said during the Feb. 7 address.

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell, meanwhile, is warning that inflation will remain elevated for some time, the Wall Street Journal reported:

A government report Friday that showed hiring accelerated in January was "certainly strong—stronger than anyone I know expected," Mr. Powell said Tuesday during a moderated discussion before the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. "It kind of shows you why we think this will be a process that takes a significant period of time."

Half of Americans say they are financially worse off now than they were a year ago, a Feb. 8 Gallup poll found, the largest share since the Great Recession.