White House economic adviser Cecilia Rouse on Sunday defended the limited progress the Biden administration has made in reducing inflation, responding to comments last week that President Joe Biden tried to put a positive spin on high rates.
“We’re starting to see signs that the actions they’re taking are having an impact,” Rouse said of the Federal Reserve, which he said is focused on lowering inflation.
Rouse said last month’s data shows employers are posting fewer job openings and the housing market is tightening in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”
“So we are starting to see signs that our red-hot economy has started to cool down. And so we know that because of that strength … we’re better positioned than most other countries to help the Fed achieve its goals,” Rouse said.
Bureau of Labor Statistics data released earlier this week showed that annual inflation rose 8.2% in September, slower than the 8.3% increase seen in August. Economists had forecast the pace of price increases to slow to 8.1% last month, CNN reported last week. On a monthly basis, general consumer prices increased by 0.4% compared to August.
Asked by Bash about the high food prices Americans are paying, Rouse noted that the Inflation Reduction Act has the ability to lower prescription drug costs for Americans, though he acknowledged it does nothing for food prices.
But with inflation expected to start coming down, Rouse said, “many parts of the bill will kick in next year.”
Rouse talked about the bill’s energy tax credits as having one of the most obvious cost-cutting effects.
“Energy tax credits exist to help people weatherize their homes and help lower other energy costs. So we’re focused on helping that transition to clean energy lower household energy costs,” Rouse said.
“This is tough. There are no questions. This is a challenge,” he added about lowering inflation in general.