Fox & Friends calls inflation report that was in line with expectations a “nasty report”

Grocery prices, which Fox has hammered Biden on even as they remained flat, actually declined

April’s consumer price index report showed that inflation cooled slightly from March and was in line with expectations. (It also showed that inflation was lower than expected on a monthly basis.) Yet according to Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy and guest Kevin O’Leary, it was a “nasty report,” with Doocy declaring “that’s not good” as he read off headline inflation numbers that were, in fact, good.

April inflation report met most expectations 

On May 15, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that headline inflation “increased 0.3 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, after rising 0.4 percent in March,” representing a slight decline of month-to-month inflation. 

The annual inflation rate was 3.4%, a slight decrease from the previous month (3.5%). 

The BLS numbers were almost exactly in line with the expectations of economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. In fact, the CPI was up one-tenth of a percent less than expected.

The report marks the eleventh consecutive month in which the index measured between 3 and 4%. (CPI reached a peak of 9.1% in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to price spikes and supply chain problems directly tied to the pandemic.)

April 2024 CPI inflation

Fox & Friends co-host called the steady inflation numbers “not good” and claimed it was a “nasty report”

Even though the report was in line with economists’ expectations, Fox & Friends spun it as a “nasty report.”

Citing an on-screen graphic summarizing the report, Doocy declared “that’s not good” and misleadingly claimed the declining inflation rate was “going the wrong direction.” 

Doocy then asserted, “We know that inflation’s gotta be below 2% for the Fed to stop, to start lowering our interest rates,” adding, “This is all going the wrong way.” 

Canadian businessman and TV personality Kevin O’Leary agreed, declaring, “This is a nasty report.” 

Parroting O’Leary, Doocy said, “It is a nasty report.”

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Citation From the May 15, 2024, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends

Doocy's framing of the April report is simply wrong. 

The Federal Reserve has not said that inflation must fall “below 2%” before it can begin loosening interest rate policy. Fed Chair Jerome Powell and other officials have indicated that inflation moving toward its long-term target of 2% is a major factor in its decision whether to cut interest rates.

In fact, the inflation measure that the Fed tracks most closely isn’t even the CPI, but the personal consumption expenditures index (or PCE), which has actually been the lower of the two inflation measures.

And the slight decline in inflation both month-to-month and year-over-year cannot be read as “going the wrong way.” (As explained above, the CPI has been stable for a year.) 

Using Doocy’s logic, the Trump administration’s record on inflation wasn’t “good” either, with inflation above 2% during much of his term.

In contrast to Doocy’s misleading take, Fox Business’ Cheryl Casone correctly noted that the index report was in line with expectations.

Fox has attacked Biden over grocery prices, but the latest inflation report showed those prices falling

The April report also showed that grocery inflation — labeled in the report as “food at home” — declined by 0.2%. Grocery inflation remained flat during the two months prior.

Yet Fox has repeatedly misled its audience about grocery inflation, attacking Biden over food prices even though they have not increased.