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COMMODITIES: Crunch! Oil, gold, and silver all drop
All at once, prices dropped on some of the hottest stuff you dig out of the earth. “Crude oil for June delivery lost $1.40, falling to $96 a barrel, while gold dropped $12.10 to $1,478.50 an ounce and silver declined 62 cents to $33.52 an ounce,” CNN reports. “Disappointing housing data and a stronger dollar pushed already nervous investors out of the market.”
Sinking oil prices haven’t made their way to the gas pump yet, and a new poll shows Americans are starting to change the way they drive as a result. “More than half say they have made major changes to compensate for the higher prices, ranging from shorter trips to cutting back on vacation travel,” USA Today reports. “For 21 percent, the impact is so dramatic they say their standard of living is jeopardized.”
Economists are no longer painting a rosy picture of recovery, and they blame oil prices and the federal deficit. “A panel of 41 economists also said they ‘remain highly concerned’ about the growing federal deficit, and said that growth in the first three months of the year had been weaker than expected,” MSNBC reports. “Economics predicts GDP will grow 2.8 percent this year – down from the group’s February prediction that it would grow 3.3 percent.”
A new survey shows about 60 percent of new college grads can’t find work in their chosen field and nearly one in 10 can’t find work at all. “Last year, the unemployment rate for college graduates age 24 and younger rose to 9.4 percent, the highest since the Labor Department began keeping records in 1985,” CNN reports. “One reason is because recent hires with limited experience have the toughest time competing in a job market flooded with experienced candidates.”
Remember all those 2-for-1 meal deals at the height of the recession? Say bon voyage to bon appetit. “Across the country, in chain after chain, menu prices are climbing – or portions are shrinking – as restaurants contend with across-the-board increases in the cost of everything from pork to plastic cups,” USA Today reports. (That didn’t stop us from finding you five restaurant coupons for today’s Wednesday Deals post, though!)