Friday, December 14, 2007

Fuel prices increase 33 percent annual rate during the past three months

Feel like you have less spendable income right now? It's probably because you do, Gas Prices Spur Consumer Inflation:
The cost of fuel -- driven by crude oil prices the nearly topped $100 a barrel -- was the chief culprit. Energy costs increased 5.7 percent in November alone and have increased at a 33 percent annual rate during the past three months.

But excluding volatile energy and food costs, so-called core inflation also rose more quickly than expected, with prices for transportation, clothing and other items pushing upward. Transportation costs, which had fallen for three of the past five months, jumped by 2.9 percent in November; clothing prices, falling for much of the year, increased 0.8 percent.

Even more troubling is that former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan said the likelihood of a recession is "clearly rising" and the economy was "getting close to stall speed," as the Associated Press reported.

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