Prices at the pump have now soared to $4.173 per gallon for regular gasoline, according to Price Information Service (OPIS). This firm collects and calculates US pump prices for American Automobile Association (AAA). On Monday evening, prices surpassed the previous record high set in 2008 and continue marching higher Tuesday.
As gasoline prices increase and inflation reaches the highest levels in four decades, times are becoming much harder for the average consumer, experiencing a persistent rise in the prices of many goods and services. Steeper gas and food prices have forced millions of people to rejigger household budgets.
The latest research note from Yardeni Research estimates the average household will spend an additional $2,000 per year in gasoline on top of an extra $1,000 in food expenses. Adding this all up, the typical household will spend $3,000 less this year on other things.
Consumer sentiment remains at an eleven-year low as inflation soars. People living paycheck to paycheck are getting hit the worst. Some are choosing between feeding their family or filling up their tank.
"Today, I'm not filling up all the way because I have other expenses," Bebi Amzad, who commutes to Newark from Linden, N.J., told NYTimes. "Everybody is hurting."
The latest jump in gas prices is 55 cents a gallon in just the last week and 63 cents since Feb. 24, when Russia invaded Ukraine.
On social media, consumers were furious with the Biden administration about the meteoric rise in gas prices.
My youngest already takes the bus to work. Yesterday I looked up route for hubby. He's not going to like it! #gasprices— SheSpeaksHerMind (@SheSpeaksHerMi4) March 8, 2022
Makes no sense. Gas prices have risen steadily since this Administration began. Has nothing to do with Russia. Just use our own oil. We have plenty. 🙄— ernest t bass (@ernestt77827750) March 8, 2022
This is Biden's war to drive gas prices higher & increase EV sales.— Lucy Liu (@rxpert10) March 8, 2022
Ukraine is never going to join NATO.
A comedian is playing the role of President of Ukraine, and you're falling for it! LOL
Americans at all income levels are being impacted by inflation, which has weighed on President Biden's polling number ahead of midterms.
Tom Kloza, the global head of energy analysis for the OPIS, warned on Monday, "we'll hit $4.50 a gallon before it turns around ... the risk is how bad this gets, how long this goes on. Even $5 a gallon nationwide is possible. I wouldn't have predicted that before the fighting started."
Meanwhile, Biden blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for 'hurting Americans at gasoline pumps' as if there had been no increase in gasoline prices until just two weeks ago.
So what's the breaking point for consumers as gas and groceries become more expensive by the week?