Inflation Slows Slightly, but Cost of Some Goods, Services Climbs

Newly released federal inflation data showed that inflation slowed in recent weeks.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Consumer Price Index, which showed that overall consumer prices paused in the month of May after rising 0.3 percent in April.

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Vast Majority of Small Business Owners Worried Biden’s Economy Will Force Them to Close

A large portion of small business owners are concerned about their future amid wider financial stress under President Joe Biden, according to a new poll from the Job Creators Network Foundation (JCNF) obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Around 67 percent of small business owners were worried that current economic conditions could force them to close their doors, ten percentage points higher than just two years ago, according to the JCNF’s monthly small business poll. Respondents’ perceptions of economic conditions for their own businesses fell slightly in the month, from 70.2 to 68.1 points, with 100 points being the best possible business conditions, while perceptions of national conditions increased from 50.4 to 53.2 points.

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Media Blame Climate Change for Soaring Insurance Rates, but Data Doesn’t Support Narrative

A tornado touchdown in a neighborhood

Homeowners across the U.S. are seeing skyrocketing insurance rates, increased deductibles, excluded protections, and canceled policies.

Insurers say that they’re having to adjust to changing conditions to remain profitable. Among the problems they blame is inflation, rising construction costs, and costs associated with regulatory compliance. But many insurers are also blaming climate change for driving extreme weather events and increasing losses, and much of the media coverage is zooming in on this narrative.

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Small Business Owners Lament Inflation

Overwhelmed businessman

As inflation continues to rise this year, small businesses are feeling the pain.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses released a survey of small business owners Tuesday that found the nation’s job creators cite inflation as their top concern more than any other issue.

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Inflation Stays High as Rising Prices Continue to Squeeze Americans

Grocery Shopping

Inflation ticked down slightly year-over-year in April but still remained high as rising prices continue to take a toll on average Americans’ finances, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) release on Tuesday.

The consumer price index (CPI), a broad measure of the prices of everyday goods, increased 3.4% on an annual basis in April and 0.3% month-over-month, compared to 3.5% in March, according to the BLS. Core CPI, which excludes the volatile categories of energy and food, remained higher, rising 3.6% year-over-year in April, compared to 3.8% in February.

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Producer Inflation Makes Biggest Jump in a Year in Potential Warning Sign for Future Economy

Factory worker

A measure of wholesale inflation that tracks prices before they reach consumers surged to its fastest annual rate since April 2023, according to new data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The producer price index (PPI) rose 0.5 percent in April, totaling a 2.2 percent annual rate, far higher than estimates that the index would rise 0.3 percent in the month, according to the BLS. The report adds to fears that inflation is once again surging following the consumer price index jumping to 3.5 percent in March, up from 3.2 percent in February and far from the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent target.

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Bidenomics Tips More Stressed U.S. Banks Into Danger Zone as Economy Slows

Fulton Chairman and CEO Curt Myers

With inflation, high-interest rates and slowing economic growth already stressing Americans heading into the 2024 election, another reason to worry about the Biden economy has cropped up: distressed banks in danger of failing.

Last month U.S. regulators seized a bank known as Republic First Bancorp and agreed to sell it to Fulton Bank.

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Americans Less Confident About Economy, Poll Shows

Stressed Workers

Americans are less confident about the economy, according to a new survey.

Gallup’s recently released economic confidence rating dropped from March to April as inflation remains elevated. Just after the polling was conducted from April 1-22, the federal government released underperforming Gross Domestic Product data.

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Americans Increasingly Turning to Discount Grocer Amidst Rising Prices

Grocery Shopping

A German discount grocer has seen an increase in business from American customers over the last year, as inflation remains stubbornly high and presents an ongoing threat to Americans’ financial security.

The Daily Caller reports that Aldi, the German-based grocer, saw a staggering 26% increase in foot traffic at its store in March compared to March of 2023. This rise far surpassed increases at other popular grocery store chains, including the 6% year-over-year increase at Kroger and the 15% increase at Trader Joe’s.

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Companies are Slashing Away at Debt as Surging Inflation Casts Shadow over Interest Rate Cuts

Business meeting

Many companies are looking to cut down on their debts as recent high inflation reports have made borrowing more expensive as the prospect of interest rate cuts by central banks diminishes, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Even companies with already high credit outlooks are deleveraging to boost their rating with top agencies and reduce debt costs that have increased along with interest rates, while firms with lower ratings are needing to cut debt to maintain profitable operations, according to the WSJ. Investors have had to adjust their view about when interest rates might decline in recent weeks as persistently high levels of inflation have made it less likely that central banks around the world, including in the U.S., will cut interest rates, reducing the cost of holding debt.

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Mounting Evidence Is Pointing to a Nightmare Scenario for the U.S. Economy

Evicted

U.S. annual economic growth measured just 1.6 percent in the first quarter of 2024, following a report of persistently high inflation in March of 3.5 percent year-over-year. The combination of both low growth and high inflation, in conjunction with continuously high amounts of government spending and debt, has led to signs of stagflation in the U.S. economy, which wreaked havoc on U.S. consumers throughout the 1970’s, according to experts who spoke to the DCNF.

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Economist Uses Big Mac Price Index to Analyze Inflation, Impact of Food Costs

Big Mac Burger

In addition to measuring foreign exchange rates, an economist is using the price of a hamburger to examine inflation.

The Economist magazine developed the Big Mac index in 1986 as an informal way to determine the “purchasing power parity” of different countries and currencies. B. Ravikumar, senior vice president and deputy director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, recently used the Big Mac index to analyze the U.S. consumer price index, which is widely used as the authoritative inflation measurement.

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Commentary: Biden Losing Support of Young Men Due to Border Crisis

Illegal Immigrants

The latest Harvard Youth Poll reveals President Joe Biden has lost significant ground with voters under thirty compared to four years ago, with a 20-point decline among young men. While young Americans give Biden low marks on foreign policy and economic issues including inflation, housing, and the job market, immigration is a leading factor in young people’s departure from Democrats. 

Biden currently leads Trump by thirteen percentage points (50 percent to 37 percent) among registered voters under thirty in the Harvard Youth Poll, a slightly higher margin than he has led by in other recent polls that include young people as a subset.

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U.S. Potentially Facing New Era of High Interest Rates

Fed Chair Jerome Powell

The United States could be facing an era of prolonged high interest rates unlike anything seen in recent memory.

According to Axios, a number of major factors indicate that high interest rates could be the new norm in the U.S., including the movement of rates, the rate of inflation, and the recent outlook for the Federal Reserve’s policy in addressing these issues.

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U.S. Wheat Farmers Stare Down Huge Losses as Foreign Goods Flood Market

Wheat combine

Many American wheat farmers may face losses in 2024 due to a glut of foreign supply coupled with soaring equipment and labor costs amid high inflation, Reuters reported Wednesday.

Wheat prices are near their lowest point in nearly four years as supply from the Black Sea and Europe has unexpectedly flooded the market after three years of droughts draining reserves, hitting winter wheat farmers in the Great Plains particularly hard, according to Reuters. Costs for transporting and producing American wheat have soared compared to foreign wheat suppliers, with high inflation increasing costs for farm equipment, repairs and labor for farmers.

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Commentary: Inflation Will Stick Around as Long as The Big Spenders Do

President Joe Biden signing a bill

August came early to the nation’s capital with last week’s round of March inflation data. The late summer weather in Washington, D.C., is notoriously hot and sticky, two accurate descriptors of the latest price increases facing families and businesses alike. Inflation is stubbornly high, and the Biden administration’s spendthrift public policies are to blame.

In the past 12 months, consumer prices rose 3.5 percent, the second month of accelerating annual inflation. In March alone, prices rose 0.4 percent. That may not sound like much, but it’s actually terrible. If that monthly inflation rate holds steady, prices will double in less than 16 years.

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Feds Borrowed $6 Billion Per Day So Far This Fiscal Year

Maya Macguineas

The U.S. federal government has borrowed about $6 billion per day so far this fiscal year with little indication of slowing down.

The U.S. Treasury Department released its figures for the month of March showing it borrowed $236 billion in March alone, bringing the total to $1.1 trillion for this fiscal year, which runs from October to September.

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Investors Scramble to Adjust Their Portfolios After Inflation Surge

New York Stock Exchange trading floor

Many investors are diversifying their portfolios from standard stocks and bonds as March’s inflation surge casts doubt on economy-boosting rate cuts from the Federal Reserve happening this year, according to Reuters.

The consumer price index increased to 3.5 percent year-over-year in March, up from 3.2 percent in February and far from the Fed’s 2 percent target. Markets prior to March’s inflation report anticipated a few rate cuts this year, leading investors to buy up stock in anticipation that markets would rise when cuts materialize, but the increasing possibility that the Fed will not cut rates this year has led investors to switch up their market strategy, according to Reuters.

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Prices Edge Even Higher as Fed Chair Speculates If Inflation Is Really Under Control

Woman shopping at supermarket

Inflation jumped year-over-year in March amid speculation over whether the rate of inflation is really decelerating, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics release on Wednesday.

The consumer price index (CPI), a broad measure of the price of everyday goods, increased 3.5 percent on an annual basis in March and 0.4 percent month-over-month, compared to 3.2 percent in February year-over-year, according to the BLS. Core CPI, which excludes the volatile categories of energy and food, remained high, rising 3.8 percent year-over-year in March, compared to 3.8 percent in February.

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Poll Finds Biden Hemorrhaging Support Among Crucial Voting Block — Even as They Trend Democrat on Key Issues

President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden is losing support among Latinos ahead of the 2024 election despite the crucial voting block moving toward the Democratic Party on key issues, a Tuesday poll found.

Support for Biden among Latino Americans has steadily declined since the last time the question was asked in June 2023, and he now holds only a nine-point favorability lead over former President Donald Trump, according to an Axios/Ipsos survey. The poll also found that Latinos are backing Democrats on the issues of abortion and immigration, and are trending toward the party on the economy and crime.

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Commentary: High Gold Price Points to Sustained Inflation

Gold Bars in vault

The economy looms large in the minds of most people and not simply because it is an election year. It affects us directly. We spend a lot of our waking hours at work, and our jobs are often connected to the welfare of families and children. With everything being more expensive, getting a toe hold on mere middle-class status is harder now than it was for older generations. Many people are slipping down a rung or three.

In addition to long-term trends like the decline of manufacturing and the cut-throat financialization of corporate America, unique recent events loom large. COVID lockdowns, soon followed by the government money giveaway—PPP loans, augmented unemployment benefits, rent relief, and other stimulus plans—disrupted our routines and affected the entire economy. While these measures likely prevented a deep recession, the shutdowns ruined a lot of businesses, and the various stimulus funds ended up unleashing inflation.

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Part-Time Employment Surges for Another Month While Full-Time Falters

Driver Uber

The number of Americans working part-time jobs surged in March, while full-time jobs declined slightly, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released Friday.

There were 28,632,000 people with part-time jobs in March, 691,000 more than in February, when there were 27,941,000, according to the BLS. In that same period, the number of people employed in full-time positions dropped by 6,000, from 132,946,000 to 132,940,000.

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Commentary: Under The Hood, the Jobs Report Is Not Strong

Waitress Working

Looking under the hood of today’s jobs report shows it isn’t the home run that Democrats and the media claim.

Approximately half of the 303,000 jobs created last month came in the unproductive government or quasi-government healthcare sectors. These are not the types of jobs that drive growth and improve Americans’ living standards.

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Layoffs Surge to 14-Month High as Inflation Crushes Employers

Stressed woman looking at computer

The number of people laid off from American companies reached the highest point since January 2023, according to data from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

American employers cut 90,309 employees in March, 7 percent higher than the 84,638 employees laid off in February and higher than the 82,307 positions cut in January, according to a report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. The layoffs are in contrast to seemingly strong job gains, which totaled 275,000 in February, while the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.9 percent.

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Gas Prices Creeping Higher Again as Election Cycle Heats Up

Pumping Gas

The national average cost of a gallon of gas at the pump jumped by 20 cents over the past month, according to AAA.

Currently, Americans are paying about $3.55 per gallon on average, up from about $3.35 a month ago, according to AAA’s data. Goldman Sachs, one of the largest financial institutions in the U.S., has recently cautioned that prices could surge above $4 per gallon by May, according to Yahoo Finance.

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Government Releases Another Batch of Data That Wipes Out Previous Economic Gains

People moving refrigerator

New orders for manufactured durable goods, which serve as an indicator for longer-term investments from businesses and consumers, had a huge downward revision for January, following similar revisions seen in jobs data.

Orders for durable goods increased 1.4 percent in February to $277.9 billion, but January’s gains were revised down to -6.9 percent from an initial estimate of -6.1 percent, taking a huge chunk out of previously reported gains, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The revisions for durable goods orders mirror revisions in employment figures, which have repeatedly reported high growth figures that are later revised down, most recently being revised down for January by 124,000 while job growth for February was reported as 275,000.

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Voters ID Inflation, Immigration as Top Concerns Ahead of Presidential Election

People in grocery checkout line

Likely voters are focused on inflation and price increases, illegal immigration and the economy as incumbent President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump prepared for a rematch of 2020 in November. 

The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll, conducted in conjunction with Noble Predictive Insights, found that given a range of options to identify their top concerns, likely voters said inflation/price increases (45 percent), illegal immigration (44 percent) and the economy/jobs (24 percent) were the issues that matter most to them. 

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Poll: 60 Percent of Independents Disapprove of Biden’s Job as President

A majority of Americans disapprove of the job President Joe Biden is doing, according to a new poll.

The Center Square Voter’s Voice poll released Wednesday asked voters, “When it comes to President Joe Biden, do you approve or disapprove of how he’s handling his job?”

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Layoffs Continue Nationwide as Economic Concerns Rise

Fired by email

As the economy worsens, multiple industries continue to shed jobs.

U.S.-based companies laid off 82,307 employees in January, a 136 percent increase from the previous month, according to a report by the business and coaching firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. The Wall Street Journal reported companies are still cutting white-collar jobs in an attempt “to do more with less.”

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Retailer Joann Fabrics Files for Bankruptcy as Americans Cut Back on Creature Comforts

Joann Fabrics store

Major fabric and craft retailer Joann announced Monday that it was filing for bankruptcy as consumers pull back on spending due to harsh economic conditions.

The retailer recently reached an agreement with a majority of its financial stakeholders as well as other financing parties, giving the company around $132 million in new financing while also reducing the debt on the company’s balance sheet by around $505 million, according to an announcement from Joann. Retail sales across the U.S. economy have continued to slump in recent months, growing just 0.6 percent month-to-month in February, not including inflation, and declining 1.1 percent in January as consumers pull back on non-essentials as prices rise.

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Inflation Woes: Home Buyers Need 80 Percent More Income to Buy than Four Years Ago

Home Buyers

The housing market is not immune from inflationary woes as buyer’s purchasing power has significantly diminished in four years. Home buyers in 2024 need 80% more income to purchase a home than they did in 2020, according to a new report by Zillow.

“The income needed to comfortably afford a home is up 80% since 2020, while median income has risen 23% in that time,” the report states. That equates to $47,000 more than four years ago.

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Inflation Spiked in February More than Expected

Grocery Shopping

Producer prices spiked last month, another sign of rising inflation in the U.S., according to new federal data.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday released its monthly Producer Price Index, a leading marker of inflation, which showed an increase of 0.6% in February, more than expected.

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‘Unusually High’ Inflation: Consumer Costs Rose Again in February

aceless person with cash and calculator app on smartphone

Consumer prices jumped again in February, in part driven by a significant rise in gasoline prices, according to newly released federal inflation data.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Consumer Price Index Tuesday, a leading marker of inflation, which showed prices rose 0.4 percent in February and 3.2 percent over the past year.

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Commentary: Americans Are Worse Off than Four Years Ago

Joe Biden SOTU

The State of the Union is not strong. Americans are facing a cost-of-living crisis, high crime, and an unsecured southern border as a direct result of Democrats’ failed policies led by perpetrator-in-chief Joe Biden.

Instead of taking accountability for these pressing national challenges, Biden promised more of the same in his State of the Union address Thursday night.

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More Inflationary Woes: In One Year, Car Insurance Rates Surge 26 Percent

Driver in car

Car insurance rates surged 26% nationwide in the past year and are expected to remain elevated until 2025.

That’s according to the “True Cost of Auto Insurance” report from Bankrate, an independent comparison service company.

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‘Serious Problems’: Global Plague of Recessions Could Infect U.S., Experts Say

Office Meeting

The recessions currently plaguing several major countries around the world could be what drags the U.S. into an economic downturn of its own, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Germany announced on Monday that it fell into a technical recession in the fourth quarter of 2023, after reporting its second month in a row of negative growth, following several other top nations experiencing economic difficulties. While the U.S. has managed to avoid a recession due to its size and diverse industries, foreign economic malaise may drag the U.S. economy down through changes to trade and global inflation that would lead to a loss for American businesses, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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Commentary: Biden Gaslights America on the Economy

Biden Speaking

Joe Biden is gaslighting America on the economy. His administration is trying to oversell what has underperformed for several reasons: First, the economy is the one issue that affects most Americans most significantly. Second, Biden is doing worse on virtually every other issue. Finally, time is short: the economy is about to get worse, and the election is close. The administration’s strategy is to get Americans to believe what they hear and doubt what they see.

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More Investors Bet Inflation Is Here to Stay amid Disappointing Price Data

Investor at Work

More investors are projecting a “no landing” scenario where inflation remains elevated but economic growth continues at its current levels following a disappointing inflation report on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

Nearly one out of five fund managers polled by Bank of America predicted a “no landing” scenario as the most likely outcome in the next year, with concerns about such a scenario being intensified by a poor inflation reading that sent U.S. markets into a frenzy on Tuesday, according to Reuters. Tuesday’s consumer price index (CPI) report showed inflation decelerated in January to 3.1% year-over-year from 3.4% in the preceding month, higher than expectations of 2.9%.

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Commentary: Inflation Is the Reason Joe Biden Is So Unpopular

Joe Biden

We’ve paid much attention to President Biden’s flagging job approval here, in part because it tends to be a strong predictor of how an election will turn out. Biden is marching into this election season as likely the least popular president to face the voters since Herbert Hoover. While he may yet be saved by the fact that he is facing off against Donald Trump, who brings his own baggage to the table, it’s an ominous indicator.

At the same time, the economy is running hot. Growth is over 3%, unemployment is under 4%, and inflation has fallen from its peak. So why the seeming paradox of an unpopular president in a time of strong economic growth, especially when the strength of the economy is itself a traditional predictor of presidential job approval?

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Commentary: The Right Needs to Use Public Policies That Promote Family Values

Family of Four

It is a tale as old as time. Older generations criticize the young, usually following a particular formula. The seniors say that the young are wimpier, lazier, less ambitious, overly entitled, and have weaker characters. Examples are now easier to come by because of social media, which allows one to encounter different types of people without having to enter their social circles.

While there are many issues of concern among the young, last week a TikTok rant by a young lady about the difficulty of working and paying her bills went viral. She seemed sad and overwhelmed. Her income apparently could barely cover the rent. Of course, she probably needed a smaller place and a roommate, but her complaints are universal, even among those who are more frugal.

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Job Cuts Soar as Employers Look for Ways to Lower Costs

Frustrated Worker

The number of job cuts by American employers surged in January as companies looked to lower operating costs to adjust to harsh economic conditions, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, Inc.

The number of positions cut by employers in January jumped 136%, with 82,307 positions cut compared to the 34,817 cut in December, according to a report from Challenger, Gray and Christmas. The job cuts come amid a wider U.S. layoff trend due to broader economic struggles, like inflation and adjustments from automation.

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Inflationary Woes: More Chain Stores Closed in 2023, Continuing into 2024

Macy's Store

More chain stores closed in 2023 as a result of high inflationary costs, with the trend continuing in 2024 led by the iconic department store, Macy’s.

In 2023, retail stores, pharmaceutical and fast-food chains continued a trend of previous years: declaring bankruptcy and closing their doors or shutting down some locations to cut costs, citing inflation, higher costs, and profit losses.

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Continued Inflation Tops List of Worries for Democrats, Republicans

Grocery Shopping

A new poll shows that Democrats and Republicans are concerned more about inflation than other potential crises, but voters from the two parties don’t see eye to eye on other concerns, including the potential of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil or potential chaos after the 2024 election.

The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll conducted in conjunction with Noble Predictive Insights found that Republicans (45%) were more concerned about inflation than Democrats (32%). Concerns that inflation could continue and further drive up prices were highest for voters with children under 18 (47%) and those 45 to 54 years old (47%).

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Corporate Media in Crisis as Outlets Grapple with Biden’s Economy

Joe Biden

Numerous legacy media outlets are struggling with challenges posed by President Joe Biden’s economy and resorting to drastic measures, Axios reported on Friday.

Close to a dozen of these outlets are firing workers, dealing with employee strikes or looking to sell, according to Axios. The Federal Reserve’s imposition of high interest rates to bring down inflation is hindering their ability to accumulate more debt, complicating their efforts to extend the timeline for resolving their financial difficulties.

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Poll Finds Americans Worried About National Debt

Congress Spending

Americans are worried about the national debt, according to the results of a new poll.

Americans have the national debt crisis as one of their top concerns along with war, inflation and crime. Those polled think the overspending has a direct impact on their personal security and also has an impact on the security of the United States, according to a recent study commissioned by Main Street Economics, a nonprofit group designed to educate Americans on the nation’s debt crisis.

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Big Pharma Raises Hundreds of Drug Prices Despite Biden Admin Efforts to Keep Costs Down

Pharmacist

Top pharmaceutical companies raised the list price on 775 brand-name drugs in just the first half of January, even as President Joe Biden aims to keep prices low, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The median price hike of the drugs was around 4.5%, with some rising by 10% or more, despite an inflation rate of 3.4% year-over-year in December, according to data from 46brooklyn Research acquired by the WSJ. The price hikes are in contrast to the president’s efforts to tame rising drug prices, taking actions such as imposing automatic rebates to Medicare for drugmakers that raise their prices faster than the price of inflation, which first went into effect in December, affecting 48 drugs covered under Medicare Part B.

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