US

Inflation is not entirely due to Putin, but most of the price increase in March is due

On Tuesday’s show of ‘The Lead’ on CNN, White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese responded to host Jake Tapper by pushing back against claims that inflation is solely the fault from Russia stating that “in March, the predominance of the increase was due to gas prices and that is because of Putin’s invasion. Two-thirds of the increase in March is the result of that.

Deese said, “Well, look, what we saw in March was a really high inflation figure, and there’s the word ‘Ukraine’ all over it. Two-thirds of the increase in March was, I think, the price of gasoline at the pump. And, as you know, Jake, this is driven by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and Russian oil coming off the market. What the president is doing is exactly that, responding boldly and in an unprecedented way. The good news is that since gas prices peaked in March, we’ve seen gas prices come down and a big part of the reason is that the president has mandated a release of our $1 million strategic petroleum reserve. barrels per day of oil on the market. It is an action that we could take and that we have galvanized the international community to put another 60 million barrels on the market as well. This has had some downward pressure on oil prices. And you saw the president, again, act today on ethanol and E15. So you see a president who is focused on maintaining an international coalition committed to doing what is necessary to counter Putin’s actions in Ukraine, while doing everything we can to protect consumers here at home and c is what he will continue to do.”

Tapper then said, “Obviously the war in Ukraine is driving up fuel prices, no one is arguing about that. But we were hedging inflation long before Putin invaded Ukraine. Inflation in the United States last year is — preceded this attack. And some people hear the president and the White House blaming all of this on Putin and think, that’s just not accurate, that’s just not factual.

Deese replied, “No, let’s be very factual. What I said was that in March the predominance of the increase was due to gasoline prices and that is because of Putin’s invasion. Two-thirds of the March increase is the result. But, at the same time, inflation is high in the United States. It’s high all over the world. We are reaching record inflation figures in the EU and worldwide. We are – the president and we are very focused on what we can concretely do to bring down price increases while supporting a strong recovery in the United States. That’s the president’s goal. And that’s what he’s asking Congress to do as well.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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