Mideast Unrest Could Hurt U.S. Recovery

February 1, 2011  |  

(Wall Street Journal) — The U.S. economy can absorb the hit from the past week’s rise in oil prices, but could stumble anew if continuing Mideast turmoil pushes crude prices significantly higher.  Benchmark crude-oil prices in the U.S. have jumped about $6.50 since Thursday to more than $92 a barrel Monday, their highest point since October 2008.  If prices stay around that level they will likely exert a drag on growth by crimping household spending, damping consumer confidence and squeezing business profits. The economy would likely continue to expand at a solid pace, but not fast enough to bring down unemployment much, forecasters said.

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