Damage to the top OPEC producer's oil facilities ignited fears of supply disruption around the world and has sent crude prices soaring.Energyread more
Retailers could be in for a jolly jump in holiday sales despite headwinds like the U.S.-China trade war and threat of another economic slowdown.Retailread more
After a series of setbacks on the road to an initial public offering, the parent company of real estate start-up WeWork is delaying the move, sources told CNBC Monday.Technologyread more
Apple isn't trying to blow our minds with groundbreaking new features on the iPhone 11, but is making lots of little improvements each year, this year focusing on cameras and...Technologyread more
The move is the latest sign of the blurring boundaries between big tech and big finance amid challenges for both industries.Financeread more
Traders in the fed funds futures market on Monday were pricing in a 34% chance that the Fed will stay put on rates.The Fedread more
Pizza Hut is also talking with Kellogg and other suppliers about the plant-based meat trend.Restaurantsread more
Saudi Arabia's defense spending is the world's third-largest — behind the U.S. and China, says Gary Grappo, former U.S. ambassador to Oman.Energyread more
J.P. Morgan's chief quant says oil prices would start to hurt stock prices when they hit the $80 to $85 range.Market Insiderread more
Don't be surprised if there's a little sticker shock at the Christmas tree lot this year.
The price of Christmas trees is rising, indicating the industry is finally recovering from the Great Recession, which thrust it into a decade-long slump.
The National Christmas Tree Association survey conducted by Nielsen/Harris found that the average price about 2,000 respondents paid for a real tree in 2017 increased to $75, up 30 cents from the previous year's price tag. This year, prices will probably rise again, maybe as much as 5 to 10 percent in some areas, NCTA spokesman Doug Hundley said.
Between 2005 and 2015, the Christmas tree industry was not profitable for its growers, he told CNBC. A surplus of trees, combined with the financial crisis in 2008, meant that farmers struggled to sell all the trees they had, leading to discounts for customers.
Between 2015 and 2016, prices went up about 15 percent. The jump in price reflects a return to more profitable pricing, as well as a shortfall of supply.
During the economic downturn, farmers could not afford to plant as many seedlings. An evergreen conifer takes between 8 and 10 years to mature, so the impact of that decision was felt years later.
For the health of the industry, Hundley said, he hopes the rate of rising prices follows inflation more closely. Growers will have to tackle a few challenges to ensure supply stays in line with demand. Understanding demand for real trees can be difficult since it changes from year to year, and growers need to predict it so far in advance.
"We now have a good healthy balance between supply and demand," Hundley said. "We aren't going to have to throw trees away at the end of the year."
Climate change is affecting outputs in western states such as California, Oregon and Washington, according to Hundley. The increasingly dry conditions hurt seedlings, and the crop is not worth the effort of irrigation.
Rising prices helps explain why some consumers are buying artificial trees instead of the real deal. Results from the annual NCTA poll show that while 27.4 million trees were sold in 2016 and again in 2017, their fake counterparts saw sales in 2017 tick upwards from 18.6 million to 21.1 million.
The average price of fake trees is also rising, but they usually last between five and 10 Christmas seasons. In 2016, the average price for an artificial tree was $98.70, according to NCTA data. The following year, the price went up to $107 on average.