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NEWSFLASH: Food and Energy Cost More

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted January 16, 2008


Ok here’s a newflash: Food and energy cost more than they did a year ago.

Of course, for everyone that either eats, drives a car, or heats their home that’s something of a “No you-know-what”.

Nonetheless, I guess it’s really not official until our government says so. You know we just can’t live without them.

Overall, inflation is up 4.1% in 2007. That’s on top of the 2.5% bite taken out in 2006.

So for the two year total it’s up 6.6%. That’s if you trust those gov’t figures—many think that they are as suspect as the government that puts them out.

Wages, by the way, failed to keep pace with those run away prices. But you probably knew that too if you have a job and buy things.

Anyway, here are the details.

From AP by Martin Crutsinger entitled: Energy, Food Costs Balloon Inflation

“Higher costs for energy and food last year pushed inflation up by the largest amount in 17 years, even though prices generally remained tame outside of those two areas. Meanwhile, industrial output was flat in December, more evidence of a significant slowdown in the economy.

Consumer prices rose by 4.1 percent for all of 2007, up sharply from a 2.5 percent increase in 2006, the Labor Department said Wednesday. Consumers felt the pain when they filled up their gas tanks or shopped for groceries. Prices for both energy and food shot up by the largest amount since 1990.

Energy costs rose by 17.4 percent this past year while food costs rose by 4.9 percent. Both were the biggest increases since 1990. Gasoline prices were up 29.6 percent, the biggest increase since they soared by 30.1 percent in 1999.

The 2.4 percent rise in prices outside of food and energy was the smallest since a 2.2 percent rise in 2005.

Clothing costs and the price of new cars actually fell for the year, both dropping by 0.3 percent, while airline fares, reflecting higher fuel costs, were up 10.6 percent and medical care, always one of the leading areas of price increases, rose by 5.2 percent for 2007.

Workers’ wages failed to keep up with the higher inflation. Average weekly earnings, after adjusting for inflation, dropped by 0.9 percent in 2007, the biggest setback since a 1.5 percent fall in 2005.

In a second report, the Federal Reserve said that output at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities showed no growth in December, adding to a string of weak economic reports showing that the economy was slowing at the end of last year.

That weakness has shown up in the biggest one-month jump in unemployment since the 2001 terrorist attacks and billions of dollars in losses at many of the country’s biggest financial institutions. Citigroup Inc. reported Tuesday it had suffered a $10 billion loss for the last three months of 2007, reflecting bad bets on investments backed by subprime mortgages.


Of course, you know if you take food and energy out of the equation everything is just swell–or so they tell us.

I don’t know which is more disturbing– The fact that we put up with all of this nonsense or the fact that they think we’re that stupid to begin with.

Either way we lose.