Signs that inflation eased in July offered a political reprieve for President Biden, who has spent months on the defensive as prices climbed to 40-year highs.
Speaking at the White House on Wednesday, Mr. Biden declared that his “economic plan is working.” The president said that rising prices may have turned a corner.
“We’re seeing some signs that inflation may be beginning to moderate,” Mr. Biden said, adding that easing prices and the strong labor market “underscore the kind of economy we’ve been building.”
However, Mr. Biden acknowledged that Americans are still coping with high prices and that the battle against inflation is not complete.
“We could face additional headwinds in the months ahead,” Mr. Biden said, noting that war in Ukraine and supply chain disruptions are global challenges. “Our work is far from over.”
The White House has said that bringing down inflation is its top priority. It has released oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help stabilize gas prices, taken steps to ease supply chain disruptions and encouraged the Federal Reserve to do what is necessary in terms of raising interest rates in order to orchestrate a so-called soft landing.
Democrats are poised to pass climate and tax legislation known as the Inflation Reduction Act, which they contend will further slow price increases over time.
Although the legislation is projected to reduce the deficit by about $300 billion over a decade, the size and timing of that fiscal pullback means that the bill could actually have little impact on inflation.
Republicans have been hammering the Biden administration over inflation for months, and on Wednesday they took a downbeat view of the new data and kept up their criticism.
Senator John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming, focused on the fact that prices are up 12.6 percent since Mr. Biden took office in Jan. 2021.
“Today’s numbers confirm what most people already know,” Mr. Barrasso said in a statement. “The price of everyday goods keep skyrocketing, and Americans continue to feel the pain.”