Interesting Inflation News Links (February 20, 2009)

* Construction Spending Decline Accelerates (Construction Equipment)

Construction spending declined 1.4% in December from a downward revised November total. Current spending is 3.4% below a year ago and projected to decline 5-6% more by the end of the summer. Lower residential spending accounts for all the 11% decline since early 2006 but will contribute only one-third of the further decline in the next three quarters. Most of the projected spending decline in 2…

* Consumer Price Index shows slight uptick in January (Houston Business Journal)

Consumer prices were up in January for the first time in seven months, but inflation was flat in 2008 for the first time in more than 50 years.

* Honolulu prices rose 4.3% in 2008 (Washington Business Journal)

Prices in Honolulu rose 4.3 percent in 2008, lower than recent years but above the national average.

* Despite rise in prices, inflation at half-century low (Bloomberg News)

WASHINGTON Consumer prices rose modestly in January, propelled by higher energy costs, but economists said they remain more concerned about the threat of price declines throughout the economy.

* Don’t Blame the Students, Blame the Trustees (Michelle Cottle, New Republic)

In response to my post about college students’ having been deluded into thinking that high grades should require little more than doing what’s expected of them, David

* Prices Turn Higher Again (Brian Blackstone, Wall Street Journal)

WASHINGTON — U.S. annual inflation vanished for the first time in over half a century, a government report showed, as the severe recession and sharp decline in energy prices since last summer led to a rapid reversal in price pressures.

* Higher energy costs push up prices modestly in January, but deflation remains bigger threat (Martin Crutsinger)

WASHINGTON – Consumer prices rose modestly in January, propelled by higher energy costs, but economists said they remain more concerned about the threat of price declines throughout the economy.

* Wall Street poised for lower opening Friday (Stephen Bernard)

Wall Street was poised to extend its losses Friday after the Dow Jones industrial average sank to its lowest level in more than six years.On Thursday, the Dow broke through a bottom reached in November, pulled down by a steep drop in key financial shares. It was the lowest close for the Dow since Oct. 9, 2002, the depths of the last bear market.Key financial stocks, like Citigroup…

* Consumer prices rise in Jan., but no inflation on horizon (Martin Crutsinger)

WASHINGTON Consumer prices rose modestly in January, propelled by higher energy costs, but most economists and the government believe the recession will keep prices in check this year.

* Oil falls with little suggesting uptick in demand (Chris Kahn)

NEW YORK — Oil prices fell Friday as investors watched Wall Street tumble and found little evidence that the global appetite for oil will increase anytime soon.

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