National Economic Council Director Brian Deese Won’t Say Inflation Has Peaked

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On Thursday’s broadcast of CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said that while the October inflation report is welcome, “there can be unexpected setbacks. There can be bumps in the road” and he’s not willing to say inflation has peaked.

Deese stated, “I think that it is welcome that we’re seeing some deceleration, certainly, and absolute price declines in certain goods categories as well. And, at the same time, we have to keep at this and stay focused on needing to see those price declines persist across time. And certainly, there can be unexpected setbacks. There can be bumps in the road. And so, we’re going to, as we say, even in the months where we see more welcome data and also less-welcome data, you never want to over-index too much on any individual one month of data. So, we’ll try to keep looking in the aggregate. But I do think that if you look across the economy, you are seeing some important signs of the resilience of the economic recovery in the labor market and in the broader economy, while we’re also seeing some reduction in price pressures as well. That’s the dynamic we want to see continue. It’s the dynamic that the president has been talking about for some time now, this transition to more steady, stable growth. And so, that’s certainly what we want to see, and certainly, this data gives us more confidence that that’s what we will see going forward.”

Host Sara Eisen then asked, “So, it sounds like you’re not willing to say we’ve peaked?”

Deese responded, “I think I’m willing to say exactly what we’re seeing, which is we are seeing moderation and deceleration in these numbers and we’re seeing it in some areas that, I think, are good indications of what may come as well. The future is uncertain. We face a complicated global environment. And so, at both the headline and the core, we’re just going to stay focused on what we can control. The good news is that some of the things that we’re seeing, for example, on health care — health insurance, on prescription drug prices, on energy prices, policies that we have already enacted are going to start to take effect and help to provide additional price reductions here in the next set of weeks and months. So, that’s a positive as well.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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