WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — On Tuesday, a new Consumer Price Index report was released. It revealed a 27% increase in gas and a 26% increase in airfare this January compared to this time last year.
A few weeks ago, some Floridians were seeing gas prices as low at $2.99 in some parts of the state. Now, the average price of gas, according to American Automobile Association, is back up to $3.41 in the sunshine state.
“You get tired of it,” a West Palm Beach driver told WPTV.
“They seem to go up and down and up and down,” another driver said on Wednesday.
According to the inflation report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Tuesday, gas prices are up 27% from last January.
“It’s kind of a shoulder season, if you will. Refineries are getting ready to undergo maintenance before the switch to summer gasoline begins,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for Gas Buddy, said.
De Haan told WPTV prices will likely jump again before they come back down.
“Gas prices will still be high this summer but I’m hoping while $4 is still a possibility, $5 is not something we’ll see this year like we did last year,” De Haan said.
The most recent inflation report also revealed a hike in airfare, with a 26% increase in the cost of an airline ticket.
“Airlines are still trying to work it out,” Carl Gould, business analyst and president of 7 Stage Advisors, said.
Gould is calling it a “pandemic hangover” that’s still ebbing and flowing.
“They really had a hard time through the pandemic. They had a number of layoffs and early retirement packages. They needed to shed some larger salaries. Now, they’re short on pilots,” Gould said. “There’s less supply.”
It’s another new normal, for now, that is forcing Floridians to adjust their budgets.
“People that work week to week, it’s hard to figure stuff out when it’s five cents more a gallon. That’s a lot,” a West Palm Beach driver said.