Political turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East triggered by the change of government in Tunisia is pushing up crude oil prices. Crude oil prices, which were rather stable in the range of $70 to $80 per barrel the past year, are now hovering above $100 per barrel.

Food prices are also rising. Rising food prices are said to be behind a series of antigovernment demonstrations in North Africa and the Middle East. High oil and food prices are likely to hit households and could put a brake on the global economic recovery.

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