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With Egypt in turmoil, oil and food prices climb

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By Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The turmoil in Egypt is causing economic jitters across the globe, pushing up food and oil prices so far, but bigger worries are ahead.

Will popular uprisings and revolution spread to Egypt's rich autocratic neighbors, managers of much of the world's oil supply? Will the U.S. see its influence in the region decline and that of Iran and other fundamental Islamic governments surge?

While those are open questions, there's no doubt the crisis has meant new risks for shaky economies and put a cloud over financial markets.

Instability in the Middle East, if prolonged, could jeopardize fragile recoveries in the United States and Europe. It could limit job creation and fuel inflation.

"If the turmoil is contained largely to Egypt, then the broader economic fallout will be marginal," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics. "Now, obviously, if it spills out of Egypt to other parts of the Middle East, the concern goes to a whole other darker level."

Protesters have topped the government of Tunisia, with more modest effects in Yemen and Jordan.


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