Inflation

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Inflation Rate by President and Party

We chose 1962 for the starting point as it was the first budget submitted by President Kennedy. Thus, for our purposes, the Kennedy term runs from 1962-1965. The Johnson term runs from 1966-1969, etc. During the forty-year period, each party controlled the White House for a total of twenty years. Source

Kennedy 1962-1965

During the Kennedy years, the inflation rate as measured by the consumer price index (CPI, all urban consumers) was 1.0%, 1.3%, 1.3% and 1.6%, respectively. Those four years average an inflation rate of 1.3%.

Johnson 1966-1969

During the Johnson years, the inflation rate was 2.9%, 3.1%, 4.2% and 5.5%, respectively. Those four years average an inflation rate of 3.9%.

Nixon 1970-1977

During the Nixon (and Ford) years, the inflation rate was 5.7%, 4.4%, 3.2%, 6.2%, 11.0%, 9.1%, 5.8% and 6.5%, respectively. Those eight years average an inflation rate of 6.5%.

Carter 1978-1981

During the Carter years, the inflation rate was 7.6%, 11.3%, 13.5% and 10.3%, respectively. Those four years average an inflation rate of 10.7%.

Reagan 1982-1989

During the Reagan years, the inflation rate was 6.2%, 3.2%, 4.3%, 3.6%, 1.9%, 3.6%, 4.1% and 4.8%, respectively. Those eight years average an inflation rate of 4.0%.

Bush 1990-1993

During the Bush years, the inflation rate was 5.4%, 4.2%, 3.0% and 3.0%, respectively. Those four years average an inflation rate of 3.9%.

Clinton 1994-2001

During the Clinton years, the inflation rate was 2.6%, 2.8%, 3.0%, 2.3%, 1.6%, 3.2%, 3.4% and 2.8%, respectively. Those eight years average an inflation rate of 2.7%.

Conclusion

For the twenty years in which Republican presidents submitted a budget, the inflation rate averaged 4.96%.

For the twenty years in which Democratic presidents submitted a budget, the inflation rate averaged 4.26%.

Kevin Drum of CalPundit has looked at inflation rates by party of the President for the period from 1948 through 2001. He used "lag times" of 3, 4 and 5 years in assigning responsibility for economic performance to a President. In each case, inflation rate was lower in Democratic administrations than in Republican administrations.

Source: U.S. Department Of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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