Biden Blames Grocery Stores for High Prices and Excessive Profits

by Mike Shedlock

President Biden’s reaction to the CPI report today was amusing. Let’s investigate.

CPI data from the BLS, chart by Mish

Food at Home vs Food Away From Home

  • Since January 2023, sixteen months, the month-over-month price of food at home has exceeded 0.2 percent only three times.
  • Since January 2023, the month-over-month price of food away from home has exceeded 0.2 percent fourteen times.
  • The average monthly increase for food at home in this timeframe is 0.1 percent.
  • The average monthly increase for food away home in this timeframe is 0.4 percent.

Let’s Blame Grocery Stores

Food away from home has been rising 0.3 percentage points more per month than food at home. So hey, let’s blame grocery stores!

Blaming grocery stores is the claim. Let’s do a fact check on the claim.

Statement from President Joe Biden

For our fact check, please consider the Statement from President Joe Biden on the April Consumer Price Index

Fighting inflation and lowering costs is my top economic priority. I know many families are struggling, and that even though we’ve made progress we have a lot more to do. Inflation has fallen more than 60% from its peak, and core inflation fell to its lowest level in three years. Prices are still too high—so my agenda will give families breathing room by building two million new homes to lower housing costs, taking on Big Pharma to lower prescription drug prices, and calling on grocery chains making record profits to lower grocery prices for consumers.

Fact Check True

Biden cites grocery stores for “record profits” and calls on them to lower prices.

CPI Year-Over-Year Percent Change Food

Year-over-year food at home is up 1.1 percent. Food away from home is up 4.1 percent, 3 full percentage points higher.

Why is that? Let’s do some more fact checks.

Cost of Running a McDonalds Jumps $250,000 in CA

On February 4, I noted the Cost of Running a McDonalds Jumps $250,000 in CA Due to Minimum Wage Hikes

California already has some of the highest fast food prices in the nation. Expect to pay still more, and not just in California.

Fast-Food Wages Set to Rise

On march 26, I noted California Restaurants Cut Jobs as Fast-Food Wages Set to Rise

California is not having a good week. State Farm cancelled 72,000 policies and now fast-food chains are slashing workers.

Chipotle CEO on Menu Prices “California Isn’t Making It Easy”

 

CPI data from the BLS, California Fast Food Prices Gordon Haskett

 

On April 28, Chipotle’s CEO commented on menu prices “California Isn’t Making It Easy”

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Food away from home has risen at least 0.3 percent for 34 out of the last 36 months.

As of today, it’s now at least 0.3 percent for 35 out of the last 37 months.

The monthly average in that 37 month period is 0.5 percent.

But hey, let’s blame grocery stores.

Food a Bright Spot

Rent rose another 0.4 percent in April. Food and beverages were flat with food at home declining but food away from home rising.

CPI data from the BLS, chart by Mish

Earlier today I noted CPI Up 0.3 Percent With Rent Still Rising Steeply, Food a Bright Spot

Food was the bright spot in April, provided you eat at home. Food at home declined 0.2 percent with food away from home rising 0.3 percent. Overall, food was unchanged.

Other than food at home, there is not that much to cheer about this month. Rent remains the killer.

Hoot of the Day

Biden took the one bright spot in the CPI and blamed grocery stores for record profits.

What a hoot.

Yesterday, I noted Producer Price Inflation Has Bottomed and Is Now Heading Back Up

Producer prices were a bit higher than expected today but negative revisions take that away. Importantly, prices appear to have bottomed.

Joe Biden vs Joe Biden on Tariffs, a Green Trade War Is Underway

Joe Biden’s changing story of tariffs would be funny if it was not so damaging. The president announced huge new tariffs today.

The Above Tweet was from June 11, 2019.

Yesterday, president Biden blasted China with huge new tariffs. For discussion, please see Joe Biden vs Joe Biden on Tariffs, a Green Trade War Is Underway

Also see Biden Wants EVs so Badly That He Will Quadruple Tariffs on Them

Astute readers will immediately notice the title of this post makes no sense. It’s not supposed to. But it is exactly what President Biden is doing.

A big green trade war has started. The result will be higher prices for cars, solar panels, even lumber, and housing.

It Trump was clueless, what does that make Biden who took Trump’s policies and escalated them?

My base case is a huge, damaging trade war no matter who wins the election in November. I have been talking about this for months. Mainstream media is finally starting to pick up on the idea.

 

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