Gas prices soar across Tri-State, paired with record inflation

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Thursday, March 10, 2022
How inflation is impacting people across the Tri-State
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Kristin Thorne has more on how people across the Tri-State are feeling the impact of inflation.

WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- The crisis in Ukraine is triggering more pain at the pump, and in at least 38 states, the average is more than $4 a gallon.

But prices at some gas stations in our area are spiking even beyond that, all as consumer inflation continues to soar.

It has jumped 7.9% over the past year, the sharpest spike since 1982 and likely only a harbinger of even higher prices to come.

The increase reported Thursday by the Labor Department reflected the 12 months ending in February and didn't include most of the oil and gas price increases that followed Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. Since then, average gas prices nationally have jumped about 62 cents a gallon to $4.32, according to AAA.

ALSO READ | US banning Russian oil imports as Biden warns of 'costs' to Americans

A Mobile station on 10th Avenue is routinely one of the most expensive in our area, and Thursday morning, it was approaching $6 a gallon for regular gas.

"It's crazy, and I should have gassed up before I came into the city," driver Chris Keag said.

The average is up to $4.47 in New York, $4.38 in New Jersey, and $4.48 in Connecticut.

"It's outrageous," driver Robert Carson said. "It was just about a dollar and some change less maybe a week or two ago. Now it just shot right back up."

In Connecticut, Senator Richard Blumenthal is calling for a suspension of the federal 18 cent-per-gallon gas tax.

"People need gasoline to go to work, get their kids to school and their families to healthcare," he said. "They need those necessities of bread and milk, and we need to find ways to reduce this inflationary spiral.

But there could be some relief on the way, as the cost of oil saw its biggest one-day percentage decline in nearly two years on Wednesday.

The price drop came after the United Arab Emirates called on its OPEC partners to ramp up production, as the United States and other countries make plans to ban Russian oil.

High gas prices not only drain wallets, but they drive up shipping and manufacturing costs.

It's all leading to record high prices at the grocery store and elsewhere, all as more Americans try to get back to normal.

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Chef Rachel Arroyo, of Commack, is feeling the affects of inflation every day. She cooks for private parties and makes weekly meals for families. The more she has to spend at the grocery store, the less she makes.

"I'm very scared to have a foundation for my family," said Arroyo, a single mother of two boys.

Arroyo said even some of her clients are feeling the financial pinch.

"I'm trying to give fair prices for everybody," she said. "I spend hours on the phone with people trying to negotiate what's best for both of us."

Peter Schiff, with Westport-based Euro Pacific Capital, said the country's inflation is being caused by years of financial mismanagement by the federal government.

"The country is loaded up in debt," he said. "We've borrowed too much money."

Schiff said the inflation spike throughout the past year is probably closer to 15 percent because the metric used to measure inflation today is different than in 1982.

"This is just the beginning," he said. "It's going to get much worse from here."

Meantime, many city residents don't drive, but do take taxis, Ubers, and Lyfts -- and those drivers have to pay for gas out of their own pockets.

That's why some are calling for ridesharing companies to raise their drivers' base pay.

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