Friday, September 30, 2011

Chinese slowdown may provide relief for fuel prices.

A news report last week from CNBC contained an interesting item with implications for the economy, both locally and nationally:
Copper, hit by concerns of a Chinese slowdown, tumbled 7 percent to a 1-year low.

The drop in copper prices is significant, as it may signal relief to property owners around the country that have faced relentless pressure from metal thieves.

More importantly, the reference to a "Chinese slowdown" may provide relief to the U.S. economy as a whole. If the Chinese economy worsens, China may purchase fewer resources from around the world. Chinese purchasing has provided the impetus for much of the oil price increases over the past several years. If Chinese oil purchasing declines, we may see fuel prices decline, with positive effects for the U.S. economy and the real estate market. [Actual gasoline price declines may be minimal, as runaway spending by the U.S. government might more than offset the effects of lower Chinese demand.]

Thursday, September 15, 2011

August inflation report

Inflation rose throughout the U.S. in August. The AP report included rent plus items recently excluded from the CPI, including food and fuel.

Click here for a discussion of the effect of continued inflation on real estate sales and prices. Regardless of the effect on real estate prices, it is not subject to reasonable dispute that continued inflation will contribute to metal theft - not only from private housing and commercial structures, but also from public facilities and utility infrastructure.