Hotter-than-expected inflation in August was bad news for President Biden, who has tried to defuse Republican criticisms over rising costs before the midterms.
Throughout the summer, Mr. Biden and his advisers cheered lowering gas costs. Inflation has moderated from its high point earlier this year, but not enough to offset rent, food, and other price increases last month.
Biden admits the hardship of rapid price increases across the economy, but he claims progress in the fight against inflation, including the signing last month of the Inflation Reduction Act. On Tuesday, he called the August numbers "further progress" in lowering inflation.
Overall, Mr. Biden said in a White House statement, prices have been stable in the U.S. for the last two months.
Inflation hurts Mr. Biden and his party as Democrats strive to keep the House and Senate. Inflation is a top worry for voters, and Americans trust Republicans more than Democrats to handle the economy.
Strong job growth and consumer spending this summer have calmed administration and Fed fears of a first-half recession.
The president sees these developments as proof that his policies are helping the country through a tumultuous global economy and wants credit.
Mr. Biden will celebrate the Inflation Reduction Act he signed Tuesday at the White House. Biden will likely blame Republicans for opposing the bill. Mr. Biden will visit the Detroit Auto Show on Wednesday to promote manufacturing and low-emission energy.
The inflation data shows the country's economic reality is murky. Food prices keep rising, stressing low-income households. A railroad strike might affect supply systems. The global economy is stagnating, and American recovery is threatened if European sanctions drive millions of barrels of Russian oil off the market.
Americans' earnings have struggled to keep pace with fast-rising costs, an inconvenient truth for a president who promised to make genuine wage improvements a centrepiece of his economic policy. Inflation-adjusted average hourly wages rose in August, but still down 3% from a year ago.