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JEREMY HOBSON: Now let’s get to the big economic issue of the week — inflation and debt. The government said this week that consumer prices here in the U.S. rose by almost a half percent in January. China said inflation was up 5 percent last month. And the U.K. said prices rose 4 percent last month.
Dan Cook is CEO of IG Markets, and he joins me live in the studio here in New York. Good morning Dan.
DAN COOK: Good morning.
HOBSON: So is this inflation we’re hearing about this week — is this a cause for concern do you think?
COOK: I think it is a cause for concern. It’s not so much the level that the inflation is at but the rate at which it’s climbing, at least here in the United States. Places like China — they’ve been taking measure to try to stem that but rising prices definitely when we’re trying to, you know get the teeth into our economic recovery is definitely a concern.
HOBSON: And one of the big things that is causing the core rate to rise is that gas prices are going up. And this is something that a lot of economist look at and they say this is the sort of thing that could stifle a recovery. Do you come down on that thinking that gas prices going up could stop our recovery in its tracks?
COOK: Certainly gas prices. Oil prices more specifically. As they climb — we look at everything. It impact everyone. The consumer at the gas pump. The manufactures is a huge concern. We’ve seen a good recovery or at least more stabilization in manufacturing, but if oil prices start to go to $100 to $120 dollars a barrel it definitely hurts the recovery.
HOBSON: All right let’s talk about the other big issue this week — debt. The European debt crisis is flaring up again today. And there are protesters in Wisconsin and all over the country — governors and states are trying to deal with big problems with debt. Should we be worried about that?
COOK: It is a really tough situation and I often joke with our European economists. They say, “Well yeah, we’ve got Portugal and Ireland, but you guys have California and Illinois.” It is a tough situation and one that when you don’t have the recovery behind it, makes it even a little bit more perilous. And so it’s definitely something to keep an eye on.
HOBSON: Do you think that Americans are going to be ready to accept the kinds of cuts that politicians say are going to be needed?
COOK: Well, I think our hearts would be into it, and we could see that, but I think it’s going to be a much more difficult road than what we even guess right now.
HOBSON: Dan Cook, CEO of IG Markets, thanks so much for joining us this morning.
COOK: Thank you.
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