HomeWorldDow and S&P 500 updates: Stocks cautiously await Fed rate decision

Dow and S&P 500 updates: Stocks cautiously await Fed rate decision

An aerial view of containers, trucks, and train cars at the port of Oakland, California, in October. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

White House officials would be the first to admit that the record-high inflation that has been plaguing the US has been stubbornly persistent and frustratingly relentless.

Last year, top officials, including President Joe Biden himself and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, predicted that high prices would be short-lived, a prediction that was proven wrong and the administration had to backtrack.

Even though there have been clear signs in recent weeks that inflation appears to be moderating, White House officials continue to stress that it remains a serious problem and warn that unforeseen events can always make things worse. He has also faced criticism, including from Republican members, that the American Bailout Plan and other spending have helped drive inflation further.

Still, the White House is eager to point out actions the administration has taken that they argue have contributed, in the bigger picture, to alleviating historically high prices.

Chief among these is management’s work to address supply chain issues. The administration created an interagency supply chain task force, including the so-called “Port Envoy,” to try to untangle some of the major blockages in the country’s most important supply chain arteries. Officials argue that when consumer goods can keep moving, that means greater product availability and ultimately lower prices.

Biden has also pointed out that his decision to aggressively release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve helped drive down prices at the pumps. It’s hard to say how much directly SPR releases ultimately affected prices; These releases are not meant to have a dramatic impact overnight, but experts say those actions likely helped offset rising global energy prices resulting, in part, from the war in Ukraine.

The White House will also credit some executive actions Biden has taken, such as making hearing aids available for purchase without a prescription and much less expensive and accessible, for helping to relieve pressure in more limited ways for everyday consumers.

On the legislative front, the eventual implementation of the so-called “Reducing Inflation Act” will give Americans more room to breathe, White House officials say, though experts disagree about the effect that huge climate, health and tax package. , will actually have on inflation itself.

Officials have been watching the central bank and its historic interest rate hikes just like everyone else. But they are quick to point out that, unlike the previous administration, Biden has stressed the importance of recognizing the independence of the Federal Reserve and allowing the central bank to do what it needs to do to try to reduce inflation.

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