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Financial 411: Rising Commodity Prices

Monday, February 21, 2011

What's in store for next week

Budgets and deficits both on the national as well as the local level will be at the top of the business headlines, according to WNYC's Business Editor, Charlie Herman. Congress is debating the funding of this year's budget—four months in. Republicans proposed about $60 billion in cuts that Democrats are likely to dispute. The fight in Wisconsin over union organizations seems like a proxy fight for similar struggles in states across the country.

Economic Reports

The GDP will be released this week, which is measure of the country's total economic output. Also expected are some numbers on housing, which are reported to have fallen, partially due to inclement weather that prevented people from buying houses.

Rising Food Prices

Food inflation in the U.S. jumped half a percent last month, but that's nothing compared to worldwide food prices. The World Bank reported that food prices jumped 15 percent between October and January. The UN says it's food price index reached the highest on record. Eric Pooley, a Deputy Editor at Bloomberg Business Week says that weather—torrential rain in Australia and an upcoming drought in China—are threatening to turn what he calls a "food crisis" into a "food catastrophe."

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