The data comes on the heels of the poor September jobs report. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 194,000 workers in September as the unemployment rate fell to 4.8%, the Labor Department reported. But economists were expecting the addition of 500,000 new jobs.
The latest inflation number, provided by Washington Post economic correspondent Heather Long, did not improve the administration's image.
"BREAKING: Inflation was up 5.4% over last year in September – the highest rate in 13 years. Prices rose 0.4% in Sept, up from 0.3% in August Gas, food and goods continue to be key drivers of inflation. Used car prices fell slightly but remain 24% higher than last year," Long tweeted, with a breakdown of percent changes in [Consumer Price Index] for all urban consumers.
"Not what the White House wants to see," National Journal's Josh Kraushaar tweeted.
The numbers likely won't help President Biden's plummeting poll numbers. His approval rating is sitting at 38%, according to a new national poll from Quinnipiac University, so far the lowest of his presidency. The most recent Real Clear Politics average gives the president a 45% approval and 49% disapproval. While Biden did address the bleak September jobs report last week he refused to answer any of the White House reporters' questions on the matter, repeating what he's done on several other occasions by turning his back on the press and walking away.
Biden's "Build Back Better" plan has also stoked controversy, even within his own party. Moderate Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, Ariz., and Joe Manchin, W.Va., have clashed with their progressive colleagues for refusing to support the $3.5 trillion spending agenda. Observers mused whether the high inflation rate is what Biden and his supporters had in mind with the measure.
Republicans predicted Democrats would be unfazed by the numbers.
Several others tweeted, "Let's Go Brandon!" a reference to the more innocuous term for a vulgar chant directed at Biden at sporting events in recent weeks.