US holiday purchases to be hit by delays, price hikes:...


Daily Mail 11 October, 2021 - 01:50am 27 views

Oil prices rose on Monday, extending multiweek gains, amid supply restraint from major producers and growing demand for fuels as economies try to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Brent crude was up 81 cents, or 1%, at $83.20 a barrel by 0212 GMT, after gaining almost 4% last week. U.S. oil was up $1.15, or 1.5%, at $80.50 a barrel, the highest since late 2014. U.S. crude rose 4.6% through Friday.

Prices have risen as more vaccinated populations are brought out of lockdowns and fuel economic activity, with Brent advancing for five weeks and U.S. crude for seven.

Coal and gas prices have also been surging as economies recover, making oil more attractive as a fuel for power generation, pushing crude markets higher.

But with inventories in the U.S. starting to increase again after recent drawdowns, oil prices may start to falter.

"We think crude prices will struggle to climb much higher this quarter and still forecast them to gradually drop next year," Caroline Bain, chief commodities economist at Capital Economics, said in a note.

U.S. crude inventories rose for a second straight reporting period last week as more production returned after extended shut-ins due to hurricanes.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, together called OPEC+, last week decided to maintain a steady and gradual increase in production. 

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US holiday purchases to be hit by delays, price hikes: Fed official

Bangkok Post 11 October, 2021 - 12:12am

published : 11 Oct 2021 at 07:45

writer: AFP

WASHINGTON: Delays and price hikes are anticipated in the United States for holiday merchandise, a Federal Reserve official warned Sunday, calling for more to be done to boost the workforce.

"Right now, we see consumers trying to get out early and spend their money to get their goods before they run out," Mary Daly, head of the San Francisco branch of the US central bank, told CBS.

When shopping for the upcoming holidays, "people are buying it now and they're being told oftentimes they can't get it until after the holiday has passed," she said.

"So there are going to be delays," as well as "some pressure on holiday item prices," the Fed official said.

To address this, it will be necessary to "get more supply to the labor market, to the goods market."

In other words, to speed up the flow and production of goods, people who have left the labor market because of the coronavirus pandemic and now cannot return due to constraints such as childcare or health concerns, must be enabled to return to work.

The US labor market, which showed a strong rebound in June and July, adding more than a million jobs in each month, slowed in August and September.

In September, only 194,000 jobs were created.

"It is a volatile period we're in right now, Covid is not behind us, so I don't expect the job market to just be continuous," Daly said.

"It is going to have these ups and downs, especially with the Delta variant," she added, referring to the coronavirus variant that has spurred recent upticks in cases.

The Fed has said it wants to start tapering its asset purchases, which supported the United States during the pandemic, but it wants to see progress in the labor market before announcing the exact timing.

Most economists believe that September's disappointing job creation, however, should not be an obstacle to an announcement about tapering at the central bank's next meeting in November.

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Fed’s Daly Says Covid Pushing Prices Up but Impact Should Fade

Bloomberg 10 October, 2021 - 10:30am

The U.S. labor market will see “ups and downs” as the pandemic lingers but it’s premature to judge that the recovery is in peril, said San Francisco Federal Reserve President Mary Daly.

“It’s too soon to say it’s stalling, but certainly we’re seeing the pain of Covid, and the pain of the delta variant,” Daly told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “Covid is not behind us, so I don’t expect the job market to just be continuous. It is going to have these ups and downs.”

San Francisco Fed's Daly: Too soon to say job market 'stalling' By Reuters 10 October, 2021 - 10:12am

(Reuters) -The U.S. job market will continue to feel the effects of COVID-19, but it is too soon to say it is "stalling," San Francisco Federal Reserve President Mary Daly said on Sunday.

"It's going to have these ups and downs, especially with the Delta variant," Daly said on the CBS weekend news program "Face the Nation" when asked about a second straight month of disappointing job growth in September.

"So I think it's too soon to say it's stalling, but certainly we're seeing the pain of COVID and the pain of the Delta variant impact the labor market," she said.

Daly's comments came after the Labor Department on Friday reported that just 194,000 new jobs were created last month, fewer than half the number expected by economists in a Reuters poll. While the unemployment rate dropped to an 18-month low of 4.8%, it was partly a factor of people leaving the U.S. workforce.

Coupled with an equally disappointing employment report card for August, the recent data has raised concerns that the U.S. economy will take longer than expected to recoup the remaining 5 million jobs lost to the coronovirus pandemic, and that factors like high inflation, souring consumer sentiment and the persistence of COVID-19 will sap growth.

Daly said she had always thought the Delta variant of the coronavirus would create headwinds for the economy, but she does not expect it to trigger a recession.

"I always expected Delta to take a toll, just not put us into another recession, and we're seeing that toll," she said. "We're seeing this disrupt families, disrupt schooling, disrupt people's ability to get to work and feel safe about it."

"Delta has taken a toll, but it hasn't yet derailed us," Daly said. "As goes COVID, so goes the economy."

Asked about inflation, Daly said the price pressures U.S. consumers are facing are "painful" but are directly related to COVID-19 and are not expected to persist. That echoes her previous and many other Fed officials' assessments that the current bout of high inflation is "transitory" even if it has extended further than most policymakers had initially expected.

"Everyone's feeling the rising prices for energy, food, basic services, and that's painful because we aren't used to seeing it," Daly said. "It's eye-popping in some categories."

"We have these really anxious-to-get-out-there-and-spend consumers hitting the wall of supply constraints, and of course the prices are going to rise," Daly said. "But I don't see this as a long-term phenomenon."

Daly and other Fed officials are engaged in discussion over when and how to start removing the extraordinary support they have provided for the economy during the pandemic. Even with Friday's soft payrolls report, Fed officials are still expected to press ahead with the first stage of that withdrawal as early as their next meeting in early November.

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