It’s inflation, stupid: Biden faces renewed election threat

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Washington, April 13 (AFP/APP):He wanted the US presidential election to be about “Bidenomics.” Instead, it risks being about “Bidenflation.”

                  Joe Biden faces one of the biggest threats to his hopes of beating Donald Trump from rising prices that are hitting Americans in the wallet.

                  The cost of living is rising more quickly again, just when the 81-year-old Democrat thought he had put the issue behind him to get a clear run at November’s vote.

                  Figures this week showed US consumer inflation accelerating to 3.5 percent in the year to March, the second straight month it has risen. Gas prices and rent contributed to half the rise.

                  Bill Clinton’s 1992 election campaign famously said that “it’s the economy, stupid”, and 32 years later it appears that it inflation may be a deciding issue.

                  The Wall Street Journal called it Biden’s “most stubborn political problem” while the Financial Times wondered if it could “sink Biden.”

                  “How inflation evolves between now and the presidential election could factor heavily in the outcome,” said Ryan Sweet, chief US economist at Oxford Economics.

                  The timing couldn’t be worse for Biden, coming just as his campaign seemed to be turning things around.

                  Recent polls showed him pulling back even with Trump, while the United States not only avoided a recession after the Covid pandemic but now shows the strongest growth of any major global economy.

                  Most importantly inflation — which has dogged his administration since peaking at 9 percent in 2022 — had been falling for months.