Worst likely yet to come for rising inflation, gas prices across Seattle area

Mar 11, 2022, 9:47 AM
Gas prices, inflation...
(MyNorthwest photo)
(MyNorthwest photo)

Inflation is rising at its fastest pace in 40 years, and Seattle University economics professor Vladimir Dashkeev says we likely haven’t yet seen the worst of it.

AAA Washington: Gas prices are ‘at the whim of the market’

The Consumer Price Index has risen by nearly 8% year-over-year since last February. According to Professor Dashkeev, 1.5% of that includes food and gas.

“This is really low given what we have experienced even this week,” he told KIRO Newsradio.

Meanwhile, in Seattle, gas prices in the area are nearing $5 a gallon, averaging around $4.89 as of Friday morning. This comes in the wake of President Biden’s ban on Russian oil imports as the war in Ukraine has intensified.

That’s a trend that has traditionally been consistent up and down the West Coast, where “energy prices are higher than the rest of the country.” And given its status as a higher-density large city, inflation is also hitting Seattle in the form of higher housing costs.

By the time the next report comes out, Dashkeev believes inflation as a whole will continue to rise.

“I can bet a lot of money that the inflation rate is going to be higher,” he predicted.

UW Russia expert: Ukraine could be worst war in Europe since 1945

So, when will inflation ease up? Dashkeev says supply chain issues and labor shortages stemming from the pandemic need to be resolved, and that the federal reserve will likely step in by raising interest rates.

That said, he notes that an end to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will also be a factor.

“As long as war disturbs trade, there will be pressure on inflation,” he noted.

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Worst likely yet to come for rising inflation, gas prices across Seattle area