I hope everyone is enjoying the Easter/Passover season! Good times, good food, getting together with family and/or friends! Cherish these times!
This should be a fairly interesting week ahead: I've got some exciting radio assignments coming up, so those of you following my work prepare to enjoy some treats! The weather forecasters are predicting 70s for this part of the country thourghout the week, although we have a slight chance of rain every now and then.
Look for global financial news to dominate the headlines early in the week:
The U.S. economy probably grew at a slower pace in the first quarter as a jump in gasoline prices caused consumers to cut back, economists say...
I told you groceries are suddenly way too expensive, thanks to the high cost of gasoline, and this can't help the economy! (From the D'oh! Department: “The economy has hit a bit of a soft patch,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “If we continue to get these sharp jumps at the pump, that will be a major hit to consumer sentiment. There is a tipping point for consumers.”)
Jeff Cox/cnbc ::: Weakness in the US currency feeds upward pressure on commodities, which are priced in dollars and thus come at a discount on the foreign markets.Housing isn't much better: Four out of 10 sales of existing homes are foreclosures or otherwise distressed properties. The Case-Shiller home price index for February will be out on Tuesday.
One result has been a surge higher in gasoline prices to nearly $4 a gallon before the summer driving season even starts, a trend that economists say will be aggravated as demand increases and the summer storm season threatens to disrupt oil supplies.
"All we have to have is a couple badly placed hurricanes which could constrain some of the refinery output capacity in some key locations," says Richard Hastings, strategist at Global Hunter Securities in Charlotte, N.C. "If you get weakness in the dollar concurrent with the strong driving season concurrent with the impact of one or two hurricanes in the wrong place, prices could go up in a quasi-exponential manner."
The Federal Reserve will hold a two-day meeting in Washington starting Tuesday to set interest rates: look for Chairman Ben Bernanke to hold the first of his newly-scheduled "quarterly press conferences." Come Thursday, the gross domestic product estimate for Q1 of 2011 is due.
For those of you out there struggling, remember this: a low-paying job is decidedly better than none at all!
And, if it is any consolation, the GLOBAL economy at this time is described as "risky" at best... and that "road to recovery" many believe we're on: I think they're not correctly reading the roadmap! More to follow!