Washington, D.C.—Today, Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Chairman of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), released the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that prices measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.3% in December. Data also show that annual prices grew 3.4% over the last year.
“We ended 2023 on a strong note for our economy. While inflation rates rose slightly last month, inflation was still down more than 60% since its peak in 2022. Despite some of the bleakest predictions, we have avoided a price spiral where costs rise exponentially, and our economy is rebalancing.
“And in more good news, while inflation fell last year, wages went up – outpacing inflation since the beginning of 2021 by over $3,500 as of last October. Wage growth for low- and middle-income earners has especially grown, at 6% and 5.6% respectively over the last year.
“American families are still facing some economic struggles. Housing and homeownership are increasingly unaffordable, in part due to the Fed’s recent rate hikes. Meanwhile, rental costs have been climbing over the past decade and many lower-income families are being priced out of their current neighborhoods. I’ll continue working this year with my colleagues in Congress and the Biden Administration toward solutions that reshape the housing market, increase housing supply, and aim to put affordable housing within reach for all Americans.”
About Chairman Martin Heinrich
U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich has served the people of New Mexico in the United States Senate since 2012. In addition to his role as Chairman of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, Heinrich also serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration on the Senate Appropriations Committee, and as a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Heinrich served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, four years as an Albuquerque City Councilor, as New Mexico’s Natural Resources Trustee, and in AmeriCorps with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
About the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee
The U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee is Congress’s bicameral economic think tank. It was created when Congress passed the Employment Act of 1946. Under this Act, Congress established two advisory panels: the President's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) and the JEC. Their primary tasks are to review economic conditions and to recommend improvements in economic policy. Chairmanship of the JEC alternates between the Senate and House every Congress.