Those pesky economists are always blaming "market forces" for everything.
Take $120 oil, rationed rice, or any of the other headline-grabbing commodities whose prices have spiked this year.
The Wall Street Journal's monthly survey of professional prognosticators says fundamental market conditions rather than nefarious speculators are behind the run-up, and they're blaming the usual suspects.
From the survey:
Fifty-one percent of the respondents said demand from China and India was the prime factor in soaring energy prices, and 40% said demand was the chief contributor to rising food costs. Constrained supply was cited second most-often; 20% blamed supply problems for higher food prices and 15% for increasing energy prices.
Still, 11 percent did say prices are soaring amid the creation of a speculative bubble. In some ways if that was the majority opinion, it would be a reason to cheer. Speculators driving markets to unsustainable levels would probably mean a bust was on the horizon, a frightening thought for commodity investors but better news for consumers (not to mention millions of people in poor nations facing food shortages). Instead, look for a prolonged bout of higher prices.
Other interesting tidbits from the report: