CHICAGO (CBS) — It certainly hurts to fill up your gas tank right now – but everything is going up, not just gas prices.
CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov got to the bottom line Tuesday night.
Gas prices are now at a seven-year high. It was $4.17 Tuesday night at a gas station in River North.
But again, experts said gasoline won’t be the only commodity costing more for a while. Life in general is going to be more expensive.
Even the Dollar Tree won’t even be selling things for just $1 anymore. The company announced many items will now cost $1.25.
If you have been shopping for anything recently, that is no surprise.
“I think you’re going to see a more expensive holiday season,” said DePaul University economist Brian Phelan.
Phelan said prices will continue to go up for almost everything, as they have over the past few months.
“So on the supply side, you do have worker shortages, which is making it difficult and more costly for firms to produce goods – and so that in itself will push up prices,” he said.
Add rising post-pandemic demand along with the holidays, and deal shopping will become even more necessary until things stabilize. Phelan believes that could take months.
But gas prices are a bit different. Phelan said increased demand now that people are out driving again is certainly one high price factor, as is holiday travel.
But crude oil supply is also shooting prices up. President Joe Biden is now ordering the release of $50 million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help bring prices down – the largest such release in U.S. history.
“We’re hopeful that prices will be stabilized and start to move down,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.
But Phelan warned the move is not going to change anything right away.
“The refineries have to turn it into gas, and that just takes time, so it’s not likely to have an immediate effect really at all,” he said.
Phelan’s prediction is that it will take four to six weeks before drivers notice substantial savings at the pump.
And it could be worse. In Los Angeles, $5.29 a gallon is average.
Right now, the national average for a gallon of gas is $3.40. In Chicago, it is about $3.89.