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Summer Gas Price Spike Could Be Rippling Through The Rest Of The Economy

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) -- The summer spike in gas prices has drivers feeling the pain at the pump, but that financial stress could be rippling through the rest of the economy as well.

Experts say the jump in gas prices could be tied to a collective and expensive case of nerves.

"We have seen the prices of gas go up and down for absolutely no reason," Farrokh Hormozi, a professor of economics at Pace University told CBS 2's Lou Young on Thursday, "The price of everything else is going up."

And that is everything. Everything that moves and everything that is made, even pizza.

"Gas is going up, cheese is going up, flour is going up, everything," pizza maker Damic Aurovic said.

The cost of delivering ornamental plants has gone up as well.

"It was in the area of $3,000 to $3,500 and now it's more than doubled," Larchmont Nursery owner John Rodriguez said.

Transportation accounts for 25 percent of the cost of the ornamental plants. It's fully half the cost of comparable bags of mulch. In a gourmet Pelham food market the price pressure is tougher to track, but transportation costs are considered a prime factor.  Package sizes are shrinking for ice cream, cereal, coffee, and chips.

"Used to be a 16-ounce bag; as of last year it went to a 14 ounces. Now it's 13 ounces, for the same price," grocery store manager Angelo Lucarelli said.

Experts expect gas prices to fall soon, but not quickly. The price of gas in New York and New Jersey has shot up by at least 20 cents in the past two weeks, according to AAA.

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