CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin queried Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday about polls suggesting that Americans perceive former President Donald Trump as being “better” economically than President Joe Biden.

Prices resulting from inflation in May hit a milestone of hiking over 20% non-seasonally adjusted since Biden assumed the presidency, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED). Sorkin on “Squawk Box” appeared to ask if Yellen had seen the polling after she stated Americans only believe the national economy is poor while believing their personal and local financial situations are “fine,” according to CNBC’s unofficial transcript.

 

“When they’re asked about their own personal situation, overwhelmingly people say they’re fine,” Yellen said. “And when they’re asked about the local economy, they also say that that’s fine. But when they’re asked about the national economy, they think things are not good. And … that really is something I don’t think we’ve ever seen in the United States before. We also see record levels of new business formation, which is something you would not see unless people feel confident about the economy.”

“Isn’t that misinformation?” Sorkin asked. “I mean, some of the polls, by the way, would suggest I mean, you’ve seen some political polls that say they believe that the public believes that the former president, former President Trump … was better for the economy than the current President?”

Many polls have indicated Americans prefer Trump over Biden economically by double digits, including an Axios/Ipsos poll released in April among Latino voters.

“Well, you know, I think President Biden understands that people are feeling pain,” Yellen responded. “And when they say this, they are concerned. I think they’ve seen the level of prices rise quite a lot. I mean, over 20% over the last three years or so. They can remember when the price of a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread was 30% lower than it is now. And low-income families have seen some of the highest increase in costs. ”

Yellen went on to say that wages have increased and that Biden is focused on bringing down inflation, according to the transcript.

Prices have persistently risen during the Biden administration after inflation’s peak of 9% year-over-year in June 2022, with the annual rate of inflation not decreasing below 3% since then. The increase under Biden is over double the gain for Trump’s entire term in office when prices increased 7.7% from January 2017 to 2021, according to the Federal Reserve of St. Louis.

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