Performing arts center begins to innovate in Valley

Organizers break ground on proposed venue for performing arts in Spokane Valley.

A groundbreaking ceremony is being held Saturday at 11 a.m. for the Idaho Central Spokane Valley Performing Arts Center at 13609 E. Mansfield Ave., next to the Tru by Hilton hotel, according to a news release.

The 59,000 square foot privately funded facility, when completed in 2024, will house a 475-plus-seat main theater, 200-seat studio theater, interim conservatory, and event space.

Plans were publicly announced in November for the state-of-the-art $48 million site.

The organizers are raising funds for the facility through a fundraising campaign. Naming rights are also available for areas of the site and surrounding land.

Food inflation could rise

American consumers are already grappling with historically high food prices. It still has to get worse.

Prices paid to U.S. producers for finished consumer foods jumped nearly 16% in the year through July, the biggest jump since 1974, according to Labor Department data released Thursday.

Much of this was due to a 44.2% increase in the cost of eggs, as well as substantial increases in the prices of fresh and dried vegetables as well as beef and veal.

This is a worrying sign for Americans who are already spending far more on groceries, as producer prices tend to pass through to consumers.

Overall consumer and producer prices moderated in July, but this was largely due to lower energy costs.

Food prices remain stubbornly high and risk keeping inflation high.

Food prices have risen globally since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine reduced grain shipments from one of the world’s major suppliers.

Although some exports have picked up, the pace remains well below normal.

“Food inflation shows few signs of slowing,” Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities, said in a note.

Home affordability continues to decline

It’s harder than ever to afford a home in the United States, with higher mortgage rates claiming a bigger share of income and prices still rising to double digit rates in most of the country.

The monthly bill for a typical existing single-family home with a 20% down payment jumped to $1,841 in the second quarter, according to the National Association of Realtors.

That’s up 32%, or $444, from the first quarter and a jump of 50% from a year earlier.

Families spent about 24% of their income on mortgage payments in the second quarter, down from 19% in the previous three months and 17% last year.

The median price topped $400,000 for the first timereaching $413,500.

Staff and wire reports