Higher Gas Prices Increase Costs Across the Board

Higher prices at the pump mean many other things cost more, too.

ByDavid Kerley and Cait Taylor
April 23, 2011, 8:29 PM

WASHINGTON, April 23, 2011— -- As gas prices rise across the United States, there is some worry that they may start to threaten the fragile economic recovery.

In his weekly radio address, President Obama acknowledged the growing price of gas and told listeners that he "feels their pain," but he added, "There's no silver bullet that can bring down gas prices right away."

Motorists like Jorge Granados see those rising prices every time they stop to fill up.

"This is the first time I've paid $75 for a tank of gas," Granados said after filling his SUV.

Some drivers have started to find alternative ways to conserve.

"When I go out, I try to do everything all in one trip if I can," Dom Zito said when he stopped for gas this afternoon.

Others have said that if the price of gas rises to $6 a gallon they may have to stop driving.

Consumers are experiencing a one-two punch to their wallet from the increase at the pump. According to IHS Global, household goods have become more expensive by $1,000 per year, for each American family.

"Freight costs have really gone up and they are affecting us that way," said Washington D.C. florist Michael Caruso. Caruso said that as he pays 25 percent more to fuel his trucks, and 12 percent more for flowers that are flown in from other locations, he is forced to raise the prices of what he sells to his customers.

In Seattle at the Five Spot restaurant the owners pay 20 to 40 cents more per pound of meat, on top of the fuel surcharge to have that meat delivered.

"Every week I have new products coming in, always I see new prices. I mean up and up and up and up and up," Angelo Pappas of Olympic Pizza said. Pappas pays up to $200 more a month for gas, and his ingredients.

Airline tickets have risen seven percent since last month, and some believe it's only a matter of time before there's a price hike on shipping for online purchases.

Volunteers who use their cars to give back to the community may also have to cut back on how much help they can give. Barbara Hayes, who drives cancer patients to their doctor's office, pays $56 a week to fill her gas tank.

"I would hate to slow down, but I may have to do that if the gas prices go any higher," Hayes said.

Energy companies are poised to release last quarter's earnings, and there is speculation they may post record earnings once again. Analysts believe that Exxon's profits may have risen nearly 60 percent, or around $10 billion. Shell and Chevron are expected to see a 22 percent gain.

"If you own stock in the oil companies, you're doing well, but I think for everyone else, the consumers, I think it's hard on us," Zito said. "I think they're thieves."

The price of crude oil has gone up 38 percent in the past three months, not because of shortages, but because commodity traders have been bidding up the price in fear of what may happen in the Middle East.

Energy analyst, Samantha Gross says that the big oil companies do not have any ability to change the price of oil. Gross suggests that the only way to really bring the price of gas down is to drive less.

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