01:46 - Source: CNN
Both Trump and Biden made false claims about inflation. Hear what they were
Washington CNN  — 

For the second time in less than a week, President Joe Biden falsely claimed Tuesday that the inflation rate was 9% when he began his presidency.

Biden was criticized by many Republicans, including former president and current presidential rival Donald Trump, for telling CNN in an interview last Wednesday: “No president’s had the run we’ve had in terms of creating jobs and bringing down inflation. It was 9% percent when I came to office, 9%.”

Biden repeated the claim about the inflation rate, albeit in slightly vaguer form, in a Tuesday interview with Yahoo Finance. This time, he said: “I think inflation has gone slightly up. It was at 9% when I came in, and it’s now down around 3%.”

Facts First: Biden’s claim that the inflation rate was 9% when he became president is not close to true. The year-over-year inflation rate in January 2021, the month of his inauguration, was about 1.4%. The Biden-era inflation rate did peak at about 9.1% – but that peak occurred in June 2022, after Biden had been president for more than 16 months. The March 2024 inflation rate, the most recent available rate at the time Biden made these comments, was about 3.5%, up from about 3.2% the month prior.

In other words, Biden’s claims make it sound like inflation is much lower today than it was when he was inaugurated – but it is actually higher, though there has been a steep decline since the June 2022 peak. (That peak followed Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, which sparked global increases in energy and food prices.) And while Biden’s claims make it sound like the end of the Trump presidency was plagued by high inflation, inflation was unusually low during Trump’s last months in the White House amid the economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Similar to a previous false claim

Biden’s false claims in the past week about overall inflation are similar to a false claim he made in October 2022 when talking about gas prices in particular. In both cases, he has wrongly depicted a figure from June 2022 as if it was the Biden-era starting point.

A White House official said in a Tuesday email to CNN: “The President was making the point that the factors that caused inflation were in place when he took office. The pandemic caused inflation around the world by disrupting our economy and breaking our supply chains.”

The April 2024 inflation rate will be revealed Wednesday with the release of new Consumer Price Index data. Separate Producer Price Index data that was released on Tuesday showed the highest wholesale inflation rate in a year.

This story has been updated with comment from the White House.