ABC News Live

White House: Inflation ‘Very Close to Normal’ and Prices ‘Moving in the Right Direction’ — But They’ll Go Up

During an interview with ABC News on Thursday, White House Senior Adviser Gene Sperling stated that “people have been through a tough few years” but the PCE (Personal Consumption Expenditures) price index reading is “very close to normal” and “prices are moving in the right direction” and “moderating.” But you can’t expect them to not go up.

Sperling said, “It’s been a tough few years since the pandemic,” but “inflation is coming down. In fact, it was really 2.4% in this measure, 2.8% if you don’t include food and gas. And that’s not good enough, but it is very close to normal. And there are a lot of different areas where you have seen prices come down.”

He added, “I think people have been through a tough few years and they went through 2022 when you had the variants and the global economy was getting back and you had supply chain issues and they saw prices come up. And I think it’s reasonable for people to feel like it’s been a somewhat rough few years. And there may be a lag in people starting to say, hey, now I do see that prices are moving in the right direction. And sometimes you have things like eggs or lettuce or milk where prices are going down. People say, yeah, but they’re still higher than they were, and I respect that. What I want them to know, though, is that it’s still worth understanding the facts and it’s not wrong to communicate facts about prices are moderating.”

Sperling continued, “But what I want them to know is that this president is fighting to lower costs. And the fights that are going on right now are about getting rid of junk fees, price gouging, the president’s brought down prescription drug costs, prices for insulin. He is fighting to do more on those grounds, fighting to lower childcare costs. So, if you want to fight — if you want to talk about what we could do to lower costs for families, it would be to encourage Republicans to work with this president on the multitude of proposals he has made to lower costs. … And we’re going to just do everything we can. We’re going to respect that people are feeling frustrated — or some people are, but it doesn’t mean that it is also not true that, over this last year, people’s wages have gone up more than inflation.”

Host Kyra Phillips then cut in to note that prices have increased on groceries and gas.

Sperling responded, “To not have prices go up at all would be to have zero inflation or deflation. So, let’s talk, respectably, about whether we’re near the normal rates of inflation and whether some key areas are coming down, and they are. And I do respect that people are still feeling some struggles, that it’s been a tough few years, and that’s why we’re still fighting for them.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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