White House expects June inflation to be ‘highly elevated’

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 13: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading on July 13, 2022 in New York City. The stock market opened on a low note amid the release of Labor Department inflation data that showed US inflation hit 9.1% in June, the highest in nearly 41 years. Americans are seeing price increases, including for gas, food and rent. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP)

The White House said it expects June inflation data, due on Wednesday, to be “grossly inflated” in the hours leading up to the release of the latest consumer price index.

US President Joe Biden’s approval rating has plummeted as Americans face the worst surge in inflation in more than 40 years.

After promising to do everything possible to curb price increases, the Federal Reserve launched a series of aggressive interest rate hikes that fueled fears that the country could face a recession.

“We expect the historical inflation data to be highly inflated, mainly because gas prices were so high in June,” spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said on board Air Force One as she traveled with Biden to the Middle East.

With US inflation hitting a 40-year high and gasoline prices approaching $5 a gallon, the Bureau of Labor Statistics was due to release the CPI for June later Wednesday morning.

Wall Street shares fell on Tuesday as markets brace for a potentially dismal US inflation report.

Inflation reached an annual level of 8.6% in May, and analysts expect it to reach 8.8% in June.

Analysts expect consumer prices to rise 1.1% in June, even faster than in May. However, a slower increase is expected when food and energy are excluded.

Traders fear another report showing hot inflation will force the Federal Reserve to double down on a massive rate hike after the central bank announced a three-quarter-point rate hike in June, the biggest increase in nearly 30 years.

Biden will make his first visit as US president to Saudi Arabia on Friday. He will try to persuade Riyadh to pump more oil to lower prices that are fueling sky-high inflation in the US.

© Agence France-Presse