Sunday, August 10, 2008

Relief For Consumers

After sprinting to record levels this spring, the prices for basic commodities have now fallen 20 to 30 percent.

Prices are now lower on staples such as rice, wheat, corn, and soybeans. Also down are prices for metals such as aluminum, zinc, and copper. The commodity almost everyone follows – oil – is off nearly 20 percent as well, dropping Friday to its lowest level since May 1.

Falling commodity prices have important economic implications. They may indicate that the global economy – especially in terms of the role played by fast-growing countries such as China – is beginning to slow. The prices also take some pressure off the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates to counter inflation. Last Tuesday, the Fed kept short-term rates unchanged, but it did indicate it was still concerned about inflation. - Christian Science Monitor


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