Consumer Spending Rises
The government reports a slight increase in consumer spending in August... .2 percent up from .1 percent in July. Economist Ryan Sweet with Moody's analytics says Americans are reluctant to spend money on other than necessities as income growth declines:
“With unemployment over 9% we’re starting to see nominal wages start to decline, which is problematic for future spending.”
Meat Prices Continue to Rise
Steaks, roasts and even hamburger meats are costing more than analysts had expected. Ricky Volpe, USDA economist:
“For 2011 we’ve revised our forecast for beef and veal upward again.”
The predicted increase in beef prices for 2011 had been 7 to 8%, but now:
“We’re now looking at an increase of 8 to 9% on average for beef and veal retail prices, on average, 2011 over 2010.”
Due to the drought conditions in the south and the price of feed, ranchers in the west are reducing and in some cases liquidating their stock.
Report Questions EPA Decision on Greenhouse Gas
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General has come out with a report critical of EPA actions concerning greenhouse-gas emissions. The report says EPA should have conducted a more detailed scientific review before determining that greenhouse-gas emissions pose a threat to public health and welfare. According to the study, - this review did not meet all OMB requirements for peer review of a highly influential scientific assessment.
Government Funding Bill Sent to President
A short-term spending measure was sent to the President late last week after the U.S. House passed the extension which keeps government open through October 4. The measure was part of a bipartisan agreement intended to end a dispute over disaster relief spending. Next the House will have to consider a more comprehensive measure that would keep the government funded through November 18.
Wood Yields Fewer Greenhouse Gases
The authors of a report issued by the U.S. Forest Service say wood should factor as a primary building material in green building. According to the report, using wood in building products yields fewer greenhouse gases than using other common materials. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says this study confirms what many environmental scientists have been saying for years, wood should be a major component of American building and energy design.
Recalled Ground Turkey Infected with Salmonella Heidelberg
USDA announced last week that it has confirmed a sample of ground turkey associated with Cargill’s Sept. 11 recall of 185,000 pounds of ground turkey as positive for the Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak strain.
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service lab results indicate the isolate is resistant to ampicillin, gentamicin, streptomycin, and tetracycline.
The Sept. 11 recall followed Cargill’s Aug. 3 recall of about 36 million pounds of fresh and frozen ground turkey products produced at the company’s Springdale, AK, facility due to possible contamination from Salmonella Heidelberg.