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Economic Impact Of Russian Aggression In Ukraine Felt In SoCal Gas Prices, Groceries

BURBANK (CBSLA) - The war in the Ukraine is already having an economic impact on the United States and in Southern California.

Ukraine Econ Impact 3

The national average for a gallon of gas went up Thursday. It's now about $.20 more than it was a month ago, according to AAA.

In Los Angeles County, the price is more than $1.50 higher compared to the rest of the country.

Wolfgang Oliva's truck is his source of income for his service station maintenance business.

"It takes me about $120-$130 daily," he said, talking about how much it takes to fuel his truck.

The high gas prices in Burbank, more than $5 a gallon, are also hitting Jose Najera.

"I do construction for a living, and I spend about $500 a week for gas," he said.

Russia's military assault on Ukraine caused an immediate impact on oil prices because Russia is one of the world's largest producers. While the U.S. doesn't get oil from Russia, experts said there's a domino effect of the global supply disruption.

The higher cost of fuel is also impacting the transportation of groceries.


"If you go inside, you see the prices that's happening, it'll blow your mind," said shopper William Fedal.

Russia's aggression sent Wall Street on a roller-coaster ride Thursday, but eventually, the market closed up.

University of California, Riverside economics professor Dr. Chris Thornberg said the stock market swings don't take away from the strength of the U.S. dollar.

RELATED: Locals Rally Along Streets Of LA; React To Russia's Invasion Of Ukraine

"People are looking at the U.S. as not a place with inflation problems, but a safe haven," Thornberg said.

He said more money coming to the U.S. economy can actually overheat it further. Inflation was 7.5% year over year at the end of last year after the federal government injected more than $11 trillion during the pandemic.

"None of that is sustainable. Sometime the sugar crash will have to wear off," Thornberg said.

While SoCal and the U.S. are seeing the impacts of what's happening half a world away, Oliva said we have to keep things in perspective.

"Gas is high, but they're worried about their lives on the other side."

In addition to spikes in price at the pump, experts added that the cost of cars may go up even more than recently because the metals used to build vehicles may now get more expensive.

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