CNBC host Rebecca Quick pressed National Economic Council adviser Brian Deese on inflation and the Biden administration’s plan to combat it Tuesday, saying that “none” of the steps would address the skyrocketing prices Americans are seeing every day.
“The economy we have right now is in a transition from this period of historic economic growth to a period that can be more stable, resilient growth. That requires focusing on inflation and doing so from a position of relative strength. The U.S. is in a better position than other countries to do so in part because of the strength of our labor market recovery and the strength of our household balance sheets,” Deese said.
He laid out President Biden’s plans, which the president highlighted in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. The president emphasized the importance of independence from the Federal Reserve prior to meeting with Fed chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday.
“None of those steps really are going to address the skyrocketing cost that people have seen at the gas pump or in line at the food, grocery store or what they’ve seen in rent prices and things that have gone up,” Quick responded. “None of these will fix things in the very short term, these are long-term issues that maybe will help down the road with some of the supply chain issues.”
She said the release of one million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) did not bring down oil prices. “We’ve seen a great deal of inflation that’s come since then,” she said, adding that it was important to let the Fed do its job. “None of these other things will have an immediate impact on inflationary prices.”
Deese said that there was no singular “silver bullet” but he thought they were steps that “do matter” in both the short and the medium term.
“The SPR release helped to blunt upward pressure on oil prices, we have an ongoing challenge with Putin’s war in Ukraine that we are focused on,” Deese continued.
Biden is expected to meet with Powell on Tuesday to discuss inflation.
Inflation soared to 8.3% in April, remaining near the record 40-year-high in March, when inflation hit 8.5%.