April 12, 2022


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures the change over time in the price of consumer goods. The new numbers for March 2022 show a 1.2% rise in the cost of goods and services from February, up 8.5% in the last year, with energy and food being the largest contributors to rising prices.  

Following the release of March's CPI data, Neil Bradley, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, released the below statement:

“New data out today shows what Americans already know: inflation continues to chip away at their buying power and impact the larger workforce. Rising costs in housing, food, and energy are making it difficult for American families and businesses to get ahead, and while monetary policy remains the best tool to fight inflation, policymakers should also be focusing on easing regulations, reducing tariffs, and increasing domestic energy production. 

“Rising energy costs continue to impact consumers and businesses, and the administration’s lack of commitment to increased production is hampering our ability to lower costs and improve energy security. The energy industry needs assurances from the administration that increased investment now will not be met with efforts to decrease or end production in the years ahead. The administration must end its ban on leasing on federal lands, expeditiously begin processing permits, and finalize a new offshore leasing program. Additionally, the U.S. must focus on approving critical energy infrastructure projects. This all can, and must, be done with an emphasis on reducing emissions globally and transitioning to non-emitting energy sources, but policymakers must work with the industry now to ensure our energy security going forward. 

“We also remain concerned that the administration and some policymakers continue to blame businesses for rising prices. Inflation is the result of supply and demand. Pandemic related shocks, a tight labor market, and loose monetary and fiscal policy have limited the supply of many goods and at the very same time boosted demand. This has created broad-based price increases. To shift the blame to businesses is misguided and only increases the likelihood that the real causes of inflation will not be addressed, prolonging and exacerbating higher prices for families and risking a recession.” 

On March 29th, MetLife and the Chamber released their 2022 Q1 Small Business Index Report. The report found that while small business owners are feeling good about the health of their businesses and expectations for the future, concern for inflation soared. The vast majority (85%) of small business owners are concerned about the impact of inflation, and 44% indicate they are very concerned, jumping 14 percentage points from 31% last quarter. More than two in three businesses (67%) report having to raise prices to cope with inflation. The survey was conducted between January 14 - January 26, 2022, in the wake of the Omicron variant. The survey found that while COVID-19 remains a persistent challenge for small businesses, inflation and supply chain issues are top of mind for most small businesses. Click here to read the report.