Russian-Ukraine war has South Florida drivers paying more at the pump

'This is going to be a period of some stress for consumers,' economic analyst says
Posted at 4:58 PM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-28 21:21:17-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — War and uncertainty between Russia and Ukraine are shaking up the stock market and commodities.

WPTV spoke with experts to explain how events occurring thousands of miles away are impacting residents in South Florida.

Spending about $40 more to fill up at the pump, Oscar Medina is having to rethink the strategy of his plumbing business.

RELATED: Crisis in Ukraine: here's how you can help

"I decided not to go to the Boca area, Royal Palm, Jupiter, so we try to stay in West Palm," Medina said.

Oscar Medina, business owner speaks about gas prices
Oscar Medina is among the South Florida residents being impacted by the spike in gas prices.

He was already bracing for rising gas prices due to inflation. But with the Russian-Ukrainian war starting last week, he is now worried more.

"It's very concerning, so hopefully this stops because I cannot afford this type of crisis," Medina said.

The average price for a gallon of gasoline was almost 20 cents cheaper a month ago.

A gallon of regular gasoline in Palm Beach County is currently $3.66, which is higher than the national average of $3.61.

The price per barrel of crude oil jumped last week when Russian troops began to attack Ukraine.

"Supplies were already tight on a global scale and then you take Russia, which is the third-largest oil producer, and you take the concern of removing that oil from the market, so that makes oil supplies even tighter," said Mark Jenkins with the American Automobile Association.

Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman speaks about gas prices, Feb. 28, 2022
Mark Jenkins speaks about how the conflict in Europe is impacting gas prices in the U.S.

That is driving up gas prices globally. While the cost of fuel goes up, some stocks come down.

"These events are potentially volatile with respect to the impacts on the stock market, and that's exactly what we've been seeing," said Mark Hamrick, a senior economic analyst with

Hamrick said the impact should be short-lived, but it all depends on NATO or Russian President Vladimir Putin's next move.

"This is going to be a period of some stress for consumers," Hamrick said.

Mark Hamrick, senior Economic Analyst,
Mark Hamrick shares his thoughts on the impact on the U.S. economy as war rages in Ukraine.

On the bright side, Hamrick said U.S. travel is up and shouldn't be impacted.

While European countries are more reliant on oil, wheat and other commodities exported by Russia than the U.S., Hamrick said there could be global impacts.

"There will be some price blimps related to this and we're already seeing that," Hamrick said.

In a few weeks, the central bank will meet and likely raise interest rates.

This could also have an impact on the stock market and consumer confidence.