Wall Street Journal to reveal new economic concerns
Signs of economic slowdown have emerged as a result of high energy prices, and new housing construction posted its sharpest decline in fourteen years, the Wall Street Journal is slated to report Wednesday, RAW STORY has learned.
Inflation surged with the price of gasoline, up 0.7% in March, the biggest jump in five months, government statistics show.In March, gasoline prices rose 5.3%, the biggest increase since October 2004. Food prices grew 0.3% after a 0.8% gain in February. Beef and fish prices rose 1.8% and 4.2% respectively.
"For the past 12 months, wholesale inflation has risen by 4.9%, the fastest 12-month pace since a gain of 5% in the 12 months ending last November," a Journal roundup reveals.
"Separately," the Journal is to report, "the Commerce Department reported that new housing construction posted its sharpest drop in 14 years last month... That was the steepest decline since an identical 17.6% drop in January of 1991.
"The pace of new construction for both single-family homes and apartment buildings dropped," the paper adds, "and the weakness was widespread, as starts declined in all four U.S. regions."
In a positive sign, the Journal suggests high oil prices have not yet filtered into the rest of the economy.
"Stripping away energy and food costs, wholesale inflation rose just 0.1% in March, and in annual terms, growth in "core" inflation actually cooled: The core PPI index was up 2.6% in the 12 months ended March, down from a
2.8% rate in the year through February," reporters say.
The Journal will also note: "Federal Reserve policy makers and financial markets have been worrying about rising prices. At a meeting on March 22, some members of the Fed's Open Market Committee said they believe inflation risks have "tilted a little to the upside," and expressed concern over "the recent elevated readings" in inflation gauges. Meanwhile, fears that higher energy costs could trigger another "soft patch" in the economy translated into a rough period on Wall Street last week, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting its third consecutive triple-digit decline Friday."
Link: http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Wall_Stre ... 250pm.html
Yep...just the place for Social Security contributions. AND may those who voted for Bush and the neocons get their just desserts.