Factory activity in the Philadelphia area rebounded as demand strengthened in January after a sharp slowdown in the previous month, according to a survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia released Thursday. Inflationary expectations of manufacturers, however, jumped to the highest level in decades.
The index for current general activity of the Business Outlook Survey rose to 23.2 in January from 15.4 in December, beating the 19.1 consensus forecast from Econoday. In November, the index had been at the very strong level of 39. But December survey’s indicators for general activity, shipments, and new orders all fall to their lowest readings in 2021.
The report also indicated that inflationary pressures continue to mount. The gauge of prices paid and prices received remained elevated and indicated widespread price hikes. The prices paid index increased to 72.5 from 66.1, back near the pandemic highs that have been the highest readings since the 1980s. The prices received index dipped to 46.4 from 50.4 a month earlier. The long-term average for prices paid is 34.5. Fo …
“If you were even grading on a curve, Joe Biden would get an F for failure, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R‑La.) said Thursday, responding to the president’s claim that he has outperformed expectations in his first year in office.
“I didn’t overpromise, But I have probably outperformed what anybody thought would happen,” Pres. Biden said Wednesday in a press conference defending his first year’s work as commander-in-chief.
But, Rep. Scalise voiced a different take, the listing ways that Americans are worse off now, due to Biden’s policies, than they were at the end of his predecessor’s term in office.
President Biden claimed again this week that thanks to his leadership, Americans’ paychecks are going up. Yet new data show that once you account for inflation, workers’ nominal wage increases aren’t just canceled out—their real wages have actually gone down.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) just released data comparing wages in the 4th quarter of 2020 to the 4th quarter of 2021. Over this one-year period, BLS reports that the median worker’s weekly earnings increased by 2.6 percent. That’s good news, right?
Not so fast. Because consumer prices rose 6.7 percent over the same time period, Americans’ purchasing power declined. As conservative economist Stephen Moore explained, this “means real earnings dropped 4.1%.”
After all, what ultimately matters is not the number of your paycheck, but what your paycheck can buy you. If you’re getting a raise but everything’s even more expensive, you’re not actually any better off.
Moore illustrated this effect with a simple chart:
“Biden promised no tax hikes for anyone making less than $400,000 a year – but inflation, the cruelest tax of all, is making a mockery of that promise,” Moore concluded in his analysis for the Committee to Unleash Prosperity.
It’s only natural for a politician like Joe Biden to try to spin the dis …