Gas Prices Reverberate Through Economy

The Connie's pizza chain moves millions of pies a year across Chicago. And pizza usually moves faster in a slowing economy, CBS News correspondent Anthony Mason reports.

But co-owner Mark Stolfe says his profits are being eaten up by the cost of food and gas.

"Cheese is up. Flour is up. Gas is up," Stolfe said. "And those are the three biggest things in the cost of pizza delivered to your door."

With crude hitting another all-time high Wednesday, gas is now averaging $3.17 a gallon -- 69 cents higher than a year ago.

"Demand is outstripping supply, which causes prices to go up," President Bush said.

Mr. Bush has urged OPEC to up production. But OPEC won't pump more oil.

"If the prices are high," OPEC's president said Wednesday, "They are not due to a lack of crude. They are due to what's happening in the U.S."

In the U.S., the dollar is taking a nosedive. It hit an all-time low against the Euro Wednesday.

And because oil is traded in dollars, it's getting cheaper for overseas buyers to fill up.

"I think if the dollar keeps falling, I think oil becomes much more attractive to certain types of investors. And I think it will keep upward pressure on oil," oil trader Ray Carbone said.

It's not good news for you - or Mark Stolfe, who's watched the monthly gas bill for 25 pizza delivery trucks jump from $9,000 to $12,000.

"I don't see food prices coming down. I don't see gas prices coming down," Stolfe said. "So my biggest fear is what am I going to do next year?"

This pizza man worries whether his business can keep delivering profits with an economy running out of gas.

  • Anthony Mason

    CBS News senior business and economics correspondent; Co-host, "CBS This Morning: Saturday"