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Oil Prices Soar to Record High of Nearly $146 a Barrel

World oil prices soared to yet another record high in Thursday's trading, increasing the threat of inflation and dimming prospects for global economic growth.

The price of crude oil for future delivery went as high as $145.85 a barrel in New York trading.

Analysts blamed the price hikes on a weak U.S. dollar, concerns about conflict in the Middle East, and lower crude oil inventories.

Raising the price of oil boosts the cost of making many goods and increases the cost of delivering everything, so soaring energy costs are increasing the threat of inflation.

Thursday, the European Central Bank tried to fight inflation by raising interest rates a quarter of a point to 4.25 percent.

Increasing interest rates slows the economy by raising the cost of borrowing money to buy equipment to expand businesses or purchase homes.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.