A White House economic adviser conceded Sunday that inflation is “unacceptably high” but said it is being blunted by decreasing prices at the pump.
Jared Bernstein, a member of the Council of Economic Advisers, noted that rising costs have forced Americans to dip into savings that were increased during the pandemic.
“Inflation — which is unacceptably high, let’s get that clear right out of the gate — went up 1.3% in June,” Mr. Bernstein said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Again, acceptably high, half of that increase is from energy prices alone. Now since then, the price of gas has come down 50 cents a gallon.”
The national average for a gallon of regular was $4.53 as of Sunday, according to the AAA automobile owners club. That’s down 47 cents from one month ago but still roughly $1.36 higher than a year ago.
Mr. Bernstein pointed to strong consumer spending despite inflation to rebut the notion of an impending recession, something economists have increasingly warned is on the horizon within the next year or two.
“I want to be clear: there are lots of folks who are struggling with this high level of inflation, but as a macro economist, when you look at the stock of savings in the economy, it’s up there in the trillions,” he said. “Folks are tapping those savings to continue to keep consumer spending strong.”