We’ve paid much attention to President Biden’s flagging job approval here, in part because it tends to be a strong predictor of how an election will turn out. Biden is marching into this election season as likely the least popular president to face the voters since Herbert Hoover. While he may yet be saved by the fact that he is facing off against Donald Trump, who brings his own baggage to the table, it’s an ominous indicator.
At the same time, the economy is running hot. Growth is over 3%, unemployment is under 4%, and inflation has fallen from its peak. So why the seeming paradox of an unpopular president in a time of strong economic growth, especially when the strength of the economy is itself a traditional predictor of presidential job approval?
The Federal Reserve on Dec. 13 held the Federal Funds Rate—the rate at which banks lend to each other—steady at 5.25 percent to 5.5 percent, as the consumer inflation once again cooled to 12-month average level of 3.1 percent, according to the latest data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Leading the cooldown were drops in energy prices as gasoline dropped 6 percent in November, following a 5 percent drop in October.
by Kevin Killough In the past few years, America has seen high inflation rates and a faltering economy that some observers say will go into a recession. The latest conflict in the Middle East could likely pose a significant disruption in global energy supplies. Where the GOP contenders stand on energy policies…
On Wednesday, Republican presidential candidate Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his energy plan. It includes reversing all Biden administration policies to get gasoline prices at the pump back to $2 a gallon in 2025.
Gas prices and all other household goods reliant on petroleum have soared to over 40-year highs since President Biden implemented new energy policies in 2021. They include canceling the Keystone Pipeline on his first day in office, halting offshore and onshore lease sales, advancing EPA and other regulatory restrictions solely on U.S. oil and natural gas companies, halting investments in the industry by imposing environmental, social governance policies to restrict lending to U.S. oil and natural gas companies, among other policies.
The European Union (EU) announced Thursday that it will be outlawing the sale of gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles by 2035 even though EU countries are already struggling to fight soaring electricity costs.
EU member states and the European Commission agreed to force all new cars and vans registered in the EU to be electric by 2035, according to an EU press release. Europe is currently embroiled in an energy crisis and is preparing for blackouts as electricity prices remain more than seven times higher than they were in 2020, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Diesel and regular gasoline prices hit a new all-time high Tuesday as they continue their rapid climb in recent weeks.
Diesel, up to $5.78 per gallon, has hit a new record almost every day this month.
In what has become a seemingly every day occurrence, gas prices rose to a new record high Sunday as the national average approaches $5 a gallon.
Nine states already have surpassed the $5 threshold, and several others are just pennies away.
According to AAA, the average cost of a gallon of regular gasoline reached $4.85 Sunday, up an additional three cents from Saturday and 24 cents from last week.
The average price of gasoline nationwide could reach $6 per gallon this summer, far above historic levels and near California’s current prices, an analyst at JPMorgan said Tuesday.
“U.S. gasoline prices to break above $6,” Natasha Kaneva, JPMorgan’s head of global oil and commodities research, wrote in a note to investors titled “Cruel Summer,” according to Bloomberg. “Typically, refiners produce more gasoline ahead of the summer road-trip season, building up inventories. But this year, since mid-April, U.S. gasoline inventories have fallen counter seasonally.”
Newly released federal inflation data show that prices continue to rise at the fastest rate in four decades, continuing the trend of soaring inflation.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Consumer Price Index, a key indicator of inflation, which showed prices rose an additional 1.2% in March, part of an 8.5 percent spike in the past 12 months.
There are few more easily observable measures of the cost of everyday living than the price of gasoline at the pump. As has been widely reported, gas prices in the United States recently hit a seven-year high. The striking thing, however, is not just how high gas prices have gotten, but how fast and far they have risen.
Based on statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration—the statistical arm of the Department of Energy—weekly average retail prices for regular unleaded gasoline in the United States increased 94 percent in less than two years. Average gas prices rose from $1.77 per gallon during the week ending April 27, 2020, to $3.44 per gallon during the week ending February 7, 2022—nearly doubling in the process.
That was the largest percentage increase in gas prices within a two-year window since October of 2005, more than 16 years ago. In the election of 2006, Republicans—then the party in power—lost 30 House and six Senate seats, thereby losing control of both chambers, before losing the presidency two years later.
The prices of energy, crude and gasoline all increased in 2021 from 2020, the U.S. Energy Information Agency reports. Prices increased because of higher demand and a range of other factors.
By the end of 2021, commodities on the energy index traded 59% higher than they did on the first trading day last year on the S&P Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI), the EIA reports.
GSCI is a commodity index that tracks the performance of global commodities markets. It’s a weighted average that’s updated every year. In 2021, the energy index comprised 54% of the GSCI, with the two crude oil benchmarks, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent, accounting for approximately 70% of the energy index. WTI crude oil accounts for the largest share of the overall GSCI of more than 21%.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released data Tuesday showing a sharp increase in consumer prices, especially gasoline, as many Americans struggle to make ends meet.
March saw a 0.6% increase in consumer prices, the largest spike in nearly a decade. That increase can be attributed in large part to a rise in inflation.