The June Consumer Price Index rose to 9.1%, a 40-year high.  The jump was led by higher prices for items such as food and gasoline, putting a dent in the budgets of rural Americans.  White House Council of Economic Advisers member Jared Bernstein noted recent decline in energy prices were not included in this most recent report.

“This is a report for June, so it's not picking up the 40 cent per gallon, I'm talking about national averages, 40 cent per gallon decline in the price of gas from mid-June through today.  But even with that decline, inflation overall is unacceptably high, but it is the case that energy, which is gas and electricity. made up half of this monthly increase in this report. and it does not factor in some of these improvements in the gas sector.  So, look for that a bit more in the July report.”

Bernstein said the price of energy is uniquely tied to food and agriculture.

“In fact, they’re intimately merged. The price of energy as a key input, whether it's fertilizer, fueling tractors and other farm equipment or a feedstock. And so, the decline of energy prices, where we've seen a much more significant decline in the price of oil. Those declines should help people in the agriculture sector who have faced such high energy costs," Bernstein added.  "I think the other thing we can do, and we've had some success here, but we need to keep pushing, is make sure that our import and export markets are operating efficiently.”

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