Business, Economics and Jobs

Macro Chatter: Food gets pricier in China


Chinese shoppers select pork at a supermarket in Hefei, east China's Anhui province on April 9, 2012. China's inflation rate edged up in March, driven by rising food costs but analysts said there was still scope for Beijing to stimulate the slowing economy.



Need to know:

It's getting more expensive to eat in China.

Rising food prices continued to drive Chinese inflation in March. Inflation in China was up 3.6 percent on an annual basis in March as Chinese consumers spent more on meals, Reuters said.

Rising food prices have already helped China oust the US to become the world’s largest grocery market.

Want to know:

While times are tough in Europe, the Irish are looking to the land down under for economic opportunity.

More Irish jobseekers moved to Australia than to the US or UK in 2010, and for good reason: Australia is desperate for labor. The country is looking for thousands of people for construction, mining and services jobs.

Since unemployment is still rising in the UK and jobs are still scarce in the US, Australia might just be the new Irish dream.

Dull but important:

Last week’s disappointing US jobs report is already stirring up talk of more easing from the Fed.

While most of the US central bank doesn’t really want to go there, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s latest speech may have gotten a few people’s hopes up.

Most economists aren’t expecting the US central bank to start up another bond buying spree anytime soon, but a few more bad jobs reports could change that. Bernanke speaks again today.

Just Because:

The New York Times on Sunday pointed out that the US has been a laggard when it comes to cutting the penny out of its budget.

Canada last month became the latest country to kill off its penny. New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the UK already have gotten rid of their pennies.

The US, meanwhile, spends 2.4 cents on each penny it makes. That amounted to a loss of more than $60 million in 2011, the Times said.

Strange but true:

There’s a whole lot of extra natural gas floating around the US.

American natural gas producers are planning to trim production for the first time in years as they find a way to deal with supply surpluses they’ve already generated.

This could be good news for the Midwest, where gas and oil production may be helping to trigger earthquakes.