ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC/WIVB) — If you think the prices at the pump, or at the grocery store, have been a lot to handle lately, you’re not alone. According to new numbers from Siena College, New Yorkers are more worried about those prices than they have been in years.
Sixty-three percent of polled New Yorkers in the second quarter of 2021 believe food prices have either a very serious to somewhat serious personal impact.
“There’s a lot of factors. It’s hard to put your finger on just one,” Jarrett Felton said, a financial advisor with Invessent Wealth Management. He says a driving factor behind grocery prices going up could be labor shortages.
Of those polled, 54% are bracing for serious impact from gas prices, too. That’s the highest level that gas concerns have reached since 2014, according to Siena College.
Prices at the pump have risen steadily in 2021, and they’re up again as of Monday, both at the state and national levels. The national average of $3.15 per gallon is an increase of two cents since last week, according to AAA, while New York’s average of $3.19 is an increase of one cent.
One year ago, those prices were $2.20 and $2.26, respectively.
“Gas demand is on the rise. In a recent report, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) noted that gas demand jumped from to 10.04 million barrels per day. The estimated rate, which will likely be revised in a few months after verified data is available, is the highest weekly gas demand estimate released by EIA since 1991 and only reflects one day of the Independence Day holiday weekend. Higher demand and a 6.1-million-barrel decline in total gas stocks over the holiday last week have pushed pump prices higher. If these trends continue, while the price of crude remains above $70 per barrel, American drivers can expect gas prices to continue climbing during the busy summer driving season.AAA
In Albany, gas went up 2.9 cents per gallon in the past week for a $3.13 per gallon average as of Monday, according to 546 local stations surveyed by GasBuddy. Those local prices are 8.6 cents above where they were a month ago, and 86.5 cents above a year ago. Going back to July 12 2014 and 2011, Albany gas prices soared to $3.78 per gallon.
GasBuddy says the cheapest gas in Albany is $2.85 per gallon, and the most expensive is $3.29 per gallon. Starting out the week, the lowest price in New York is $2.83 and the highest is $3.89. They said the national average is up 5 cents per gallon compared to a month ago, and 93.7 cents higher than a year ago.
“While the national average has seen a slight rise over the last week, we may see some stabilization coming to the pump as oil prices hold just under their 2021 peak from last week,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “Without additional crude oil supply coming online in the weeks ahead, we could see oil test $80 per barrel in the next couple of weeks. However, with U.S. gasoline demand falling slightly last week, we may have already seen peak consumption with the July 4 holiday. While the jury isn’t quite in on that just yet, we’re potentially only 4 to 6 weeks away from gas prices beginning a seasonal decline that we’re likely all eagerly awaiting.”
Felton points out the obvious, that many Americans completely changed their spending habits during the pandemic. His advice now is to have a plan. “I would say get a budget together, and then cross it out. And then put a more realistic one in place.”
Ultimately, that same Siena College study also says consumer optimism in New York State is on the rise. A separate report from Business.org says credit card debt has gone up for 62% of Americans since the start of the pandemic.
Check out some average prices across the region:
- Buffalo – $3.12 (no change since last week)
- Ithaca – $3.18 (no change since last week)
- Rochester – $3.16 (no change since last week)
- Syracuse – $3.16 (no change cents since last week)
- Watertown – $3.21 (up one cent since last week)
- Springfield- $2.96 (up 2.4 cents since last week)