Showing posts tagged recession

Posted at 9:08pm
Tagged gas oil recession depression oil wars


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Posted at 2:09am
Tagged stocks recession financial crisis


Fed gloomier about the economy

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Ben Bernanke and the rest of the Federal Reserve have grown more pessimistic about the state of the U.S. economy.

At the conclusion of a two-day policy meeting, the central bank said that while the recovery is continuing at a moderate pace, growth is somewhat slower than expected. It also said the jobs market is “weaker than anticipated.”

It also issued new economic projections that call for slower economic growth, higher unemployment and higher inflation in 2011 and 2012 than in its previous forecast. At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Fed chairman Bernanke referred to the new forecast as a significant revision.

Source - CNN


The disappointing economic reports are key to stocks’ retreat since early May. The Dow and S&P fell for a sixth-consecutive week last week and the Nasdaq is now negative for 2011. “People are definitely afraid,” Murphy said. “We have been told told to buy the dips for the past nine months, but that is no longer working.”
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Posted at 12:23am
Tagged stocks recession economy downturn


Price increases of up to 7% on commodities such as toilet paper, diapers, baby wipes, garbage bags

Get used to it. This is just the beginning. If you remember, the same thing happened back in 2008 when P&G raised prices by up to 16%.  

Procter & Gamble Co. last week notified U.S. retailers that it was raising wholesale prices on Pampers diapers and baby wipes, Charmin toilet tissue and Bounty paper towels, a company spokesman said Monday.

The wholesale price increases amount to 7% for Pampers diapers, 3% for Pampers baby wipes and an average increase of 5% for Bounty and Charmin products.

The price increases come in the wake of rival Kimberly-Clark Corp. on Monday saying it was raising prices on most of the products it sells in North America as it faces higher costs for key materials like wood pulp and fuel. Last month, Kimberly-Clark announced price increases on items like Huggies diapers and Cottenelle bathroom tissue.  Source

Kimberly-Clark reported Monday that a bigger-than-expected rise in the cost of raw materials took a toll on first-quarter profit, which fell 9% to $350 million, or 86 cents a share, from $384 million, or 92 cents a share, a year earlier, even as net sales increased 4% to $5 billion.

The Dallas-based company, which also makes Kleenex tissues, said cost increases for raw materials like wood pulp, resins and fuel are likely to run twice as high this year as previously projected. It said it needs to raise prices in response.

Clorox Co., which reports next week, says it is raising the price of Glad trash bags by 9.5% beginning in May. The cost of some of its salad products, like Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix, will also rise.

Shoppers and investors will be watching for similar moves from Colgate-Palmolive Co.,Unilever PLC and Energizer Holdings Inc., which report results this week.

Consumers already are absorbing higher costs for food and gasoline. And price tags are also forecast to begin rising for apparel, reflecting rocketing cotton costs. U.S. consumer prices rose 2.7% in March from a year earlier, the largest increase since December 2009.

"When you look across almost every category out there you are seeing the impact of higher commodity costs show up and higher selling prices for everything," Kimberly-Clark CEO Thomas Falk said on a conference call to discuss quarterly results Monday.


CHICAGO, March 18 2011 (Reuters) - Procter & Gamble Co will raise U.S. detergent prices by 4.5 percent in June as the world’s largest household products maker starts to respond to rising costs for materials, packaging and transportation.

 The maker of Tide, Gain and Era laundry detergents said the increase would go into effect on June 6.  Source

What you see here is the manufacturers raising prices on things they know people have to have and are less likely to buy generic.  This is just the beginning of commodities price increases. Stock up while you can or BUY GENERIC.

Shoppers are less likely to switch to a cheaper brand on a baby product than many other items on the shopping list, according to a recent survey by Sanford Bernstein analyst Ali Dibadj. Just 10% of consumers said they switched to a cheaper diaper brand because “it’s not worth paying more in this category,” and no consumers reported switching baby food. By comparison, nearly a third of consumers said they switched brands of bleach, bottled water and liquid soap.

Jacking up prices carries marketing risks, even for diapers. Premium brands face intense competition from less-expensive options, especially private-label brands, which gained market share during the recession. Nevertheless, many parents, especially new ones, are willing to splurge on babies even when cutting back elsewhere, believing pricier products are better for comfort or development.



America appears to be sleepwalking towards disaster – does no one care?

This article from the UK’s Telegraph looks beneath the hood on Standard & Poor’s assessment of the US credit rating, the critical issues facing the US economy, and questions the presentation of the facts as we’ve been getting them. Well worth the full read…

There is now, according to S&P, “at least a one in three chance” that American debt will be downgraded from its top-notch status over the next two years – which would be a first in modern times.

New York Times/CBS News opinion poll has also suggested the US public is now more economically pessimistic than at any time since President Barack Obama’s first two months in office in early 2009 – when the country was still caught in the “Great Recession”.

Amid renewed talk of a “jobless recovery”, the number of Americans who think the economy has deteriorated spiked by 13 percentage points over the past month. Congress, meanwhile, is locked in a bitter dispute over the federal government’s ability to make ends meet.

These are the stark realities facing the world’s largest economy. They are set, furthermore, against Europe’s sovereign debt turmoil, Japan’s nuclear crisis and ongoing violence in the Middle East.

Yet despite all this bad news, this veritable litany of woe, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended last week at a three-year high. US equities are now at levels not seen since mid-2008 – before the credit crunch really took hold. On top of that, despite S&P’s announcement, the price of Treasuries kept rising, as their yield – the cost the US government must pay to borrow – fell to its lowest level in a month. Has the world gone mad?


Pattern Recognition: Food Crisis Round-up - late April 2011

Food riots over rising prices in Uganda grow more violent

Kenya, DarfurZambiaAfghanistan, Yemen, Guatemala, Papua, and Ghana, just to name a few, continue to wrestle with food shortage and rising food and fuel costs.

Soaring food prices will be expensive for rich countries

The combination of rising gasoline prices and the steepest increase in the cost of food in a generation is threatening to push the US economy into a recession. Source

Japan’s food crisis goes beyond recent panic buying

Spiking food prices have pushed the world’s poor countries to “one shock away from a full-blown crisis,” the head of the World Bank warned Saturday. Source

A dollar plumbing three-year lows is hitting Americans squarely in the gas tank, and one economist thinks it could drive prices as high as $6 a gallon or more by summertime under the right conditions. Source

McDonald’s Corp forecast higher prices for beef, dairy and other items and said it would cautiously raise prices to keep attracting diners, who are grappling with higher grocery and gas bills. Source

Global sugar inventories are at a two-decade lows and grain production has fallen short of supply for the past seven seasons out of 11. Source

Robert Zoellick, World Bank President, said, “Of particular concern is food prices. This is the biggest threat today to the world’s poor, where we risk losing a generation. We are one shock away from a full-grown crisis. The financial crisis taught us that prevention is better than cure. We cannot afford to forget that lesson.” Source

The World Bank, whose primary responsibility is to support the poorest economies worldwide, said that wheat and maize prices had soared by 69 and 74% respectively over the past year – pushing to crisis levels the cost of living for the poorest on the planet. Source

The Outlook on the food shortage from Purdue University agriculture economics professor Chris Hurt at the Food News Seminar in Charleston SC:

The United States plays a huge role in the food supply. “We are the biggest country feeding the rest of the world,” Hurt said. “Corn is our largest crop, soybeans the second, wheat third. We are the largest supplier of cotton and rice. It’s dramatic the production base we have built up to sustain the rest of the world.”

Besides the 21.2 million acres of U.S. corn that now are used for ethanol production, 20 million acres of U.S. soybeans are going to China, and Russia’s wheat production is declining.

There’s no surplus or inventory of these commodities in the world anymore,” Hurt said. “That’s a big part of our food system.”

The USDA estimates global food prices rose 25 percent last year and set a record in February.

Hurt said U.S. prices for pork are up 6 percent to 7 percent, and estimated it will go to 9 percent this year. Beef, veal and seafood prices are up 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent; poultry has risen 2.5 percent to 3.4 percent; and fruits and vegetables are up 3 percent to 4 percent.

He said in the past 11 years, there were seven years when the world wasn’t able to grow enough food to feed itself. This might be surprising to many U.S. families whose cupboards and refrigerators are full of food. Source

China Crops in Short Supply as Fewer Farms Spur Food Prices

Flooding in southern Manitoba, one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions, will have impact on world food supply. Source

"We tend to feel we’re insulated from the food riots," she said, referring to recent events in India, Haiti and several African nations. "Most of the food we grow is exported around the world. We eat very little of what we produce."

Even in a nightmare scenario, Manitoba is no danger of losing its ability to feed itself. A handful of large grain and vegetable farms could feed all 1.2 million people in the province, Doucette said.

But Manitoba’s ability to help feed the world is diminished when farmers quit the business, as thousands have in recent decades. Manitoba lost 2,023 of its 21,071 farms between 2001 and 2006, the year of the most recent Canadian census, a drop of 9.6 per cent over five years.

"It’s easy to become complacent about going to Safeway and Superstore and Sobey’s and buying all your groceries," he said. "You take your ability to produce food locally for granted when the shelves are full."  Source

Time to think seriously about……Food Storage — Not Just for Natural Disasters