CNBC, CNN sound alarm on inflation: 'You have to go to 1982 to find a higher number'

Media top headlines February 10

In media news today, NPR gets mocked for an article on ‘white privilege’ emoji’s, an MSNBC contributor criticizes his own network for comparing Alabama congressional maps to Jim Crow, and a Washington Post columnist mocks CNN anchors for ‘whimpering’ over Jeff Zucker’s exit.

Multiple news outlets, including those that are more left-leaning, responded to the stark economic news Wednesday that inflation is at its highest point in 40 years, and sounded the alarm on what it means for Americans and their wallets.

Rick Santelli joined Steve Liesman on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Thursday to break down the latest numbers and the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

“You have to go to 1982 to find a higher number,” Santelli said. The CNBC host was referring to CPI increase in January, which rose 0.6 percent, which brings the annual inflation up to 7.6 percent. This is the largest increase since February 1982, when inflation on the year hit 7.6 percent.

Santelli said that these were the numbers everyone was “most concerned” about. “We were supposed to see some alleviated pressure from the monthly read,” he continued. 

The CNBC host went on to say that one third of the CPI was housing and rent, noting that it was “very unlikely these rents, which have been surging, are going to be going down anytime soon.”

He said that labor costs weren’t going to be going down soon, either. “Even though they’re far from – at least at this point – competing with the actual rate of inflation, its lagging. So even though wages are up, close to 5 percent, they’re not keeping up with inflation, but they’re also most likely not going to go down,” Santelli said. 

FILE – In this April 29, 2020 file photo, a shopper wears a mask as she walks through the meat products at a grocery store in Dallas, Wednesday. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
(AP Photo/LM Otero)

Santelli believes that the aspects of the CPI will alleviate over time, but noted that the time frame was “much longer then anybody had anticipated.”  

Core inflation, which does not include measurements of food or energy, also surged to 6 percent, which was also higher than expect, CNBC reported. Economists believed inflation would increase by 7.3 percent and 0.5 percent on a monthly basis, according to Fox Business. 

“So these were supposed to moderate, these did not moderate,” Santelli said earlier in the segment.  

FILE PHOTO: Price tags are pictured at a Ralphs grocery store, which is owned by Kroger Co, ahead of company results in Pasadena, California U.S., December 1, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo
(Reuters)

CNBC’s Dominic Chu similarly told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Thursday that inflation “is still a big problem for Americans.”

U.S. President Joe Biden announces the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve during a speech in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 23, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
(REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

CNN’s Kate Bouldan remarked on the stark inflation Thursday with her guest, Biden economic advisor Jared Bernstein.” She pressed him on transparency, considering that the president claimed in December that inflation was “at its peak.” Inflation also turned out to not be “transitory,” she added, as the administration previously described it.

“Are you guys being clear-eyed enough about what is going on?” Bouldan asked Bernstein on “At This Hour With Kate Bolduan.”

“Absolutely,” he replied, saying the administration was focused on identifying the “underlying” economic trends. He added that Biden “probably” made the remark that inflation would be temporary while omicron “wasn’t quite in the picture yet.”

President Biden commented on the state of the economy on Thursday, saying Americans should have “peace of mind.”

“We’re in a situation now where you should have peace of mind,” he stated. “I know food prices are up, and we’re working to bring them down. As I said, I grew up in a family where the price at the pump went up, you felt it. I understand. But these things are necessities.”

Sen. Joe Manchin D-W.Va, however, was among the lawmakers who called on Biden to take action on inflation, saying that it’s “harming people.” 

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