Starwatch Consumer

Oil and gasoline prices rise

Updated: 2013-07-13T01:18:15Z

Oil and gasoline prices rise

West Texas Intermediate crude climbed on speculation that U.S. inventories will keep declining after the largest two-week drop in at least three decades. Futures advanced 1 percent Friday, rising $1.04 a barrel to $105.95.

A gallon of regular unleaded averaged $3.60 nationally, according to the GasBuddy.com website, up from $3.50 a week ago. The Kansas City area averaged $3.50, up from $3.25 a week ago.

FDA sets stricter limits on arsenic in apple juice

The Food and Drug Administration is setting a new limit on the level of arsenic allowed in apple juice, making it the same as what’s premitted in drinking water.

Studies have shown that the juice contains very low levels of arsenic, a cancer-causing agent found in everything from water to soil to pesticides. The FDA has monitored arsenic in apple juice for decades and has long said the levels are not dangerous to consumers, in particular small children who drink fruit juice. But some consumer groups have been pushing for a stricter standard, noting that apple juice is second only to orange juice in U.S. consumption.

Wholesale prices increase

Wholesale prices in the U.S. rose more than projected in June, reflecting higher costs for energy and automobiles. Wholesale price increases tend to show up later in consumer prices. The 0.8 percent gain in the producer price index was the biggest since September and followed a 0.5 percent rise in August, a Labor Department report said Friday. The core measure, which excludes volatile food and fuel, increased 0.2 percent, also more than forecast.

The data also showed limited cost pressures at the earlier stages of production, indicating demand for materials is being restrained by slower growth in China and weakness in Europe. That helps explain why Federal Reserve policymakers project inflation is likely to be at or below the central bank’s goal.

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