On Thursday, President Biden released a statement on the Labor Department’s consumer price index for February, which found consumer prices rose 0.8% in February and increased by 7.9% over the past 12 months, putting inflation at a fresh 40-year high.
In his statement, Biden blamed the increase in inflation on Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Today’s inflation report is a reminder that Americans’ budgets are being stretched by price increases and families are starting to feel the impacts of Putin’s price hike,” he said.
“A large contributor to inflation this month was an increase in gas and energy prices as markets reacted to Putin’s aggressive actions,” Biden added. Amid soaring gas prices and record-high inflation, President Biden signed an executive order this week banning the import of Russian oil.
Biden’s sanctions on Russia and oil bans are adding to the economic pain Americans are feeling while failing to deter Putin, who factored in the Western pressure when he decided to invade Ukraine. Biden said he warned there would be “costs at home” due to sanctions on Russia and insisted the measures hurt Putin more than they are the US economy.
The US economy and the global supply chain are still recovering from the lockdowns that were imposed in response to Covid-19. The 40-year high in inflation came after the US government passed several massive Covid-19 relief and stimulus bills, pumping trillions of dollars into the economy and devaluing the currency.