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The Complete Idiot’s Guide® To: Economic Indicators by Mark R. Rogers

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Chapter 12. Oil, Gold, and Other Commodities Prices

In This Chapter

  • Commodities explained

  • Why oil is a special commodity

  • How oil futures hint at where prices are headed

  • The EIA Petroleum Status Report

  • Commodity price indexes

  • Why gold doesn’t always glisten

We’ve talked about the major indicators of inflation, such as the Consumer Price Index, the Producer Price Index, and the Productivity and Costs Report, among others. But what is the part of the economy that is most sensitive to changes in inflation pressures? Commodities—that’s what!

Tracking commodities can provide early inflation warnings. In this chapter, we take a close look at two special commodities: oil and gold.

Basics on Commodities and Inflation

First, just what is a commodity? Generally, a ...

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