Day 540: "Everything is in play."
1/ Inflation climbed to 9.1% in June compared with a year earlier – the biggest 12-month increase in 40 years. On a monthly basis, the consumer price index jumped 1.3% from May to June, after prices had jumped 1% from April to May. While average wages in June were 5.1% higher than a year ago, energy prices rose by 41.6%, groceries were up 12.2%, and shelter costs were up 5.6% over the year. Further, average inflation-adjusted incomes fell 1% for the month and were down 3.6% from June 2021 to June 2022. The Federal Reserve’s beige book, a summary of the commentary on current economic conditions, reported that businesses “noted concerns over an increased risk of a recession” and that discretionary spending is showing signs of slowing due to higher gasoline and food prices. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.75 percentage points last month – the largest increase since 1994. Accelerated inflation, however, may require the Fed to consider a historic one percentage point rate hike later this month to slow the economy and restrain inflation. “Everything is in play,” Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic said. (Politico / NPR / NBC News / Wall Street Journal / CNBC / Bloomberg / New York Times / Washington Post / CNN / Associated Press)
The inflation numbers are bad, but how bad are they? “Although many economists say inflation will stay at high levels at least through the end of the year, there are some signs that prices could be moderating.” (Vox)
Just how high is the risk of another recession? “Inflation is at a 40-year high. Stock prices are sinking. The Federal Reserve has just made borrowing even costlier. And the economy actually shrank in the first three months of this year.” (Associated Press)
Five charts explaining why inflation is at a 40-year high. “Persistent supply chain backlogs and high consumer demand for goods have kept prices elevated. More recently, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has strained global energy markets and sent the national average for a gallon of gas above $5 last month.” (Washington Post)
7 takeaways from a hot inflation number. (New York Times)
Inflation surge challenges Democrats’ economic plans. “The party is running out of time on prescription-drug, climate and tax proposals.” (Wall Street Journal)
2/ The FDA authorized the use of Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine for adults. The Novavax protein-based Covid vaccine is given in two doses, administered 21 days apart. The Biden administration has secured an initial 3.2 million doses, enough to fully vaccinate 1.6 million people in the U.S. (NBC News / New York Times / Wall Street Journal)
3/ The Senate approved Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Steven Dettelbach is only the second Senate-confirmed director in the agency’s history. (Politico)
4/ Lindsey Graham asked a federal judge to revoke a subpoena issued by a Georgia grand jury investigating criminal interference in the 2020 election by Trump. The subpoena for Graham’s testimony says that he made at least two calls to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger about “reexamining certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia in order to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump.” Graham’s lawyers argued that “no extraordinary circumstances exist for compelling his testimony” and “sovereign immunity prohibits enforcement of the state court process on him as a federal officer.” (CNBC)
poll/ 18% of Americans say Biden should run for reelection in 2024, while 64% say he should not run. Among Democrats 41% say Biden should pass on a second term while 35% say he should pursue one. (Yahoo News)
poll/ 41% of voters want Democrats to control Congress following the 2022 midterms, compared with 40% who would prefer Republicans control Congress. (New York Times)
poll/ 53% of voters say America’s political system is too divided politically to solve the nation’s problems, while 41% believe the current system can still work. 58% say American democracy needs major reforms or a complete overhaul. (New York Times)
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