March 15, 2023

Sen. Ricketts says ‘hardworking Americans struggling’ after newest inflation report

February’s 6.0% is down from 6.4% in January and marks an 8th straight month of decline. The CPI peaked in June 2022 at 9.1%.

OMAHA, Neb. — February 2023 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows inflation is cooling in the U.S., but not fast enough for Nebraska’s senators.

February’s report shows the Consumer Price Index is still at 6.0%, about three-times higher than the Federal Reserve would like to see.

“Rising costs of living continue to hurt Nebraskans,” Ricketts said in a statement. “Despite this, President Biden is tripling down on his failed policies. Just last week, he proposed raising taxes and even more needless spending. The trillions of dollars he’s blown through these past two years caused this never-ending inflation.”

In a Zoom call with KETV, the White House calls the new numbers a sign of progress.

“The report is good news on the inflation front,” said Bharat Ramamurti, deputy director of the National Economic Council at the White House. “It’s now the lowest it’s been since fall which means progress for families and for the economy.”

The Consumer Price Index tracks the prices of goods and commodities to show how much they’ve increased over a 12-month period.

February’s 6.0% is down from 6.4% in January and marks an 8th straight month of decline. The CPI peaked in June 2022 at 9.1%.

“It’s their job – under the law – to promote price stability while at the same time protecting the job market,” he said while not commenting on whether interest rates should be increased. “We’ll let them do their work.”

Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer tweeted that inflation continues to crush American families.

“If you haven’t received 14.8% pay raise since the president took office, you’ve essentially received a pay cut,” she tweeted. “Yet, President Biden continues to push for more wasteful spending that’ll drive up costs. It needs to stop.”

Ramamurti cited a recent jobs report that shows more than 300,000 added in the last month as reason for optimism. He told KETV they are striking a good balance.

“We’re seeing good news on the wage front and at the same time, inflation is coming down,” Ramamurti said. “When you put those things together – it means more people and families are getting more disposable income.”

Still, Ricketts disagrees.

“Hard-working Americans are struggling,” he said. “Necessities are costing hundreds of extra dollars a month. We cannot keep adding fuel to this already raging fire.”

Here’s a look at some items in the February 2023 CPI and their peak over the last 12 months:

Food: 10.6% (peaked at 11.4% in August)
Gas: -2.0% (peaked at 59.9% in June)
Energy: 5.2% (peaked at 41.6% in June)
Shelter: 8.1% (peak)
Clothing: 3.3% (peaked at 6.8% in March)
New Vehicles: 5.8% (peaked at 13.2% in April)