Washington: Soaring energy costs are being felt throughout the US economy with a variety of implications. Some consumers are absorbing higher costs, while others are changing or reducing behavior. This is a sample of how the story unfolds in different sectors.

Trackers are looking at austerity

As he fights soaring fuel prices, truck driver Lamar Buckwalter sees signs around that consumers are cutting. Demand for refrigerated pet food was a horrifying business just three months ago, but it’s virtually gone. Humans are also changing their diet by ordering non-luxury meats such as veal and crab cake.

Buckwalter, a third-generation truck driver in Pennsylvania, said: “They haven’t bought a filet mignon steak.” Buckwalter spent $ 5.79 a gallon on diesel the last time he refueled. It’s more than double the price of a year ago, and the shift was exacerbated by lower employment rates as demand for truck services cooled. A little easier on things is the membership of Buckwalter, a national light truck driver association that offers discounted fuels. He can also pass on a small portion of the fuel price surge to consumers.

But the pain of refueling is “enough to curse preachers,” said Buckwalter, who declined underpaid trips. He also plans to belt the benefits of three employees, including a summer family picnic. “We still have a Christmas bonus,” he said. “Unfortunately, we need to reduce as much as possible.”

A tough time for a taxi

The Rutz Alliance, a New York taxi driver who feels a pinch every day, is also a hit. “I was putting in $ 25 of gas every day,” Alliance told AFP. “Now it’s up to $ 45.” This is equivalent to a weekly payment of about $ 600 to $ 650, which is one-third of the pre-pandemic amount. “We’re trying to live. It can’t be helped. Inflation is all over. Rent, food, everything, but take it or leave it.” Soaring prices are called “emergency situations.” So, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance demanded a temporary fuel surcharge of 75 cents in March. However, city officials have not taken action so far.

The airline conveys the pain

According to Argus, airlines are one of the most directly affected sectors by rising energy prices, with jet fuel prices rising almost 50% since mid-March. Given that fuel and labor are the two main sources of cost, this usually puts a heavy burden on the industry. “The rule of thumb in this industry is that two-thirds of fuel price increases can be passed within 3-6 months and the full amount within 6-12 months,” said Raymond James, an industry expert. One Savanthi Syth says.

But in a fateful twist in a pandemic-dominated era, airlines are benefiting from the “sickened demand” of consumers who want to travel after more than two years of edging. Tickets are now a year ago, industry executives said they have successfully inherited the blow from rising fuel costs.

Higher bar on vacation

For Chayzz Devyant, one of the victims of soaring gasoline prices was visiting Atlantic City in the summer. Just going back and forth between the casino towns costs about $ 162 for gas, in addition to accommodation. “It’s because of big oil,” said Devyant, who wants to work from home to save on fuel costs. But travel experts still expect a busy summer, even if more consumers like Devyant cut back on some trips.

“Various messages are being displayed. Oil prices have a clear impact,” said Aaron Schiff, economist at the American Travel Association. “But the demand is so high that all hotels / attractions / national parks / flights are expected to be fully operational this summer.”

Take a closer look at electric cars

With rising gasoline prices, consumers are becoming more interested in electric vehicles (EVs). According to Cox Automotive, access to websites for EV options has skyrocketed by 73% since January. However, according to Cox, the percentage of EV visits remains relatively small at 5.7% of all page views. In addition, shortages of semiconductors and other major supplies have limited inventory at car dealerships, putting pressure on sales.

In May, Toyota and Lexus sold 46,000 hybrid vehicles. This was a 17% decrease from the year-ago quarter, amid tight supply. At Tesla, the best-selling EV manufacturer in the United States, the Model 3 has a waiting time of at least three months and the Model Y has a delivery time of at least three months. – AFP

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