Soaring Food Prices Hit Developing Economies Hard

Higher food prices could push tens of millions of people into poverty in Asia. The Asian Development Bank said food prices are up 10 percent this year in many parts of the continent, and that threatens living standards and overall economic growth.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Soaring food prices are at the top of NPR's business news.

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INSKEEP: Higher food prices could push tens of millions of people into poverty in Asia. The Asian Development Bank said today that food prices are up 10 percent this year in many parts of the continent, and that threatens living standards and overall economic growth.

Prices are rising because of increased demand in developing economies. Bad weather has also cut into production, and it's not just food prices going up. Cotton prices have more than doubled in the last year. That is hitting American clothing retailers. Companies like the Gap and Levis are starting to pass costs on to shoppers. Last week, J.C. Penney said that clothing prices would rise 5 to 20 percent this year.

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