As inflation stalks American families, gas prices are chomping up an even larger share of paychecks.
As a sign of the times, one Los Angeles-area gas station was advertising regular unleaded gas at $6.99 a gallon, according to KABC-TV. Premium gas was selling at $7.29 a gallon.
That’s high even by LA standards, where the average price for regular unleaded hit $5.247 on Saturday, before moving on to even higher prices Sunday. According to AAA, the Sunday average in LA County was $5.375 per gallon.
“My husband told me and was like ‘$6,’ and I was like, ‘What?!’” said Joana Esparza on Sunday. “I think I put gas last week sometime, and it was still four-something.”
Her bottom line was: “That’s insane. I don’t think we’ve ever paid that … ever.”
— CajunAsian (@Riflemanscreed2) March 4, 2022
New York state’s average price was $4.207, according to AAA. The all-time high for the state is $4.309, AAA reported.
Do you blame Joe Biden for high gas prices?
The price spike, which coincided with the escalation of the Russian war to conquer Ukraine, has led to an increase of 40 cents in the past week and 57 cents in the past month, according to CNBC
Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates, said the $4.50 mark is not unlikely.
“Oil buyers are reducing their purchases of refined products from Russia, causing Russian refineries to shut down,” he said. “Dockworkers are refusing to unload vessels carrying oil and gas. Insurance rates are skyrocketing, causing vessel owners to cancel ship bookings loading in Russia, and this is also impacting on the ability of Kazakhstan to sell their oil.”
😂 😂 I remember the good old days when I was upset when I was paying $5 a gallon of gas 😂 😂
— Christopher Levinson (@ChrisLevinson) March 6, 2022
The economic news could grow even worse this coming week, as the Consumer Price Index for February is unveiled.
Although that number will not reflect the recent increase in gas prices, economists expect to see an inflation of 7.8 percent, according to CNBC.
Inflation hit a 40-year high in January, coming in at 7.5 percent.
— Vince Langman (@LangmanVince) March 4, 2022
“The risk is to the upside. It will be a shocker if we get an 8 percent handle,” said Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex.