Biden pressed to send clear message on economy as warning signs flash

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“The economy is the big issue,” Jennings said, pointing to everything from temporary gasoline shortages spurred by the pipeline hack on the East Coast, to potentially longer-term headaches for Biden such as inflation and the unexpectedly poor April jobs report. “All of it — that will drive whether the GOP can move him down.”

Government data over the past week showed higher-than-expected price surges as well as the slowdown in the pace that the economy is adding jobs, sharp changes that caught forecasters both inside and outside the administration by surprise.

Still, top officials such as Yellen and Fed Chair Jerome Powell have been forecasting somewhat higher inflation for months, saying the reasons behind it — supply bottlenecks, worker shortages and an unusually high enthusiasm for spending as businesses reopen — should only persist temporarily as the economy emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

White House officials, meanwhile, say…

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