On The Money: Consumer prices jumped 5 percent annually in May | GOP senators say bipartisan group has infrastructure deal
Happy Thursday and welcome back to On The Money. I’m Naomi Jagoda, in for Sylvan Lane, and here’s your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.
THE BIG DEAL: Consumer prices jumped 5 percent annually in May
Consumer prices rose 5 percent in the 12 months leading up to May, a finding that was higher than expected and prompted some policymakers to renew their concerns about inflation.
The consumer price index (CPI), a closely watched gauge of inflation, rose at the fastest annual rate since 2008 as suppliers struggled to keep up with sharply rising demand, according to data released Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
What you need to know about the inflation data:
- The figures come as Biden and the Federal Reserve face increasing pressure to act on inflation. Republicans argued that the data showed the dangers of Biden’s spending proposals.
- Economists have long expected inflation to temporarily increase as the U.S. economy moves toward fully reopening.
- Much of the increase in the CPI was due to an increase in prices for used cars and trucks.
Read more here on the CPI numbers from The Hill’s Sylvan Lane.
Sylvan also wrote more here about the political challenges the numbers pose for Biden and the Federal Reserve.
LEADING THE DAY: GOP senators say bipartisan group has infrastructure deal
Republican senators who are negotiating within a bipartisan group of 10 senators say they have reached a tentative deal on the size of an infrastructure package and how to pay for it.
The emerging deal would spend only a fraction of the $4.1 trillion investment President Biden has called for and would not raise taxes, which could make it a tough sell within the broader Senate Democratic caucus.
Members of the bipartisan group cautioned Thursday that the tentative deal still needs to be presented to the Senate Republican conference and the White House to see if there’s broader buy-in.
“We have a tentative agreement on the pay-fors, yes, but that’s among the five Democrats and the five Republicans. It has not been taken to our respective caucuses or the White House so we’re in the middle of the process. We’re not at the end of the process, not at the beginning but we’re in the middle,” said Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), a member of the group.
The Hill’s Alexander Bolton has more here about the latest in the infrastructure talks.
Congress debates responses to gender pay gap
The Hill’s Jackson Walker reports: The Joint Economic Committee on Wednesday debated the potential effects of legislative responses to the gender pay gap, a day after Senate Republicans blocked a House-passed bill from advancing. Democrats argued that President Biden’s infrastructure plans would help industries where women make up much of the workforce, in addition to broadening out existing paid family and medical leave programs. Republicans countered that legislation could have unintended consequences and that there are other factors at play.
GOOD TO KNOW:
- A group of Democrats on Thursday reintroduced legislation to create a “millionaires surtax” after ProPublica earlier this week published a report detailing the taxes of some of the richest Americans.
- Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, argued that the ProPublica report did not honestly examine what would happen if the wealthiest Americans were forced to pay taxes on their investments.
- A bipartisan group of lawmakers is calling on Congress to provide an additional $60 billion in aid to restaurants and bars.
- The federal deficit in May rose to nearly $2.1 trillion over the first eight months of fiscal year 2021.
- The Senate Finance Committee on Thursday advanced in bipartisan votes four of President Biden’s nominees for key Treasury Department positions.
- Deutsche Bank issues dire economic warning for America, by Chris Talgo, senior editor at The Heartland Institute.
- An effective and politically viable option for corporate tax reform, by Robert Pozen, a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management.
- Fed surprise: Top 1 percent gained less during the pandemic than lower-income Americans, by John A. Tatom, a fellow at the Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health and the Study of Business Enterprise at Johns Hopkins University.
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