Gas Prices Predicted To Hit Record $4.25 High By April
Charlotte, NC - Joe Cannamela says, “It affects everybody."
Cannamela is a hard working man. Three years ago the former long haul truck driver bought himself a limousine and started Bada Bing Limo Service. Now he says if gas prices shoot up as predicted, it will hurt at his bottom line.
Cannamela says, “$4.25 is gonna eat at mine, my clients lines."
The Oil Price Information Service expects gasoline to hit a record $4.25 per gallon by the end of April.
Right now Cannamela spends $30 to $50 dollars in gas per job, and he says if the prediction holds true that figure will rise.
He says, “Typically a business has to pass it down to the customers, but the customers are struggling too."
Wells Fargo Economist Mark Vitner says the timing makes it even worse, “The run up in gasoline prices is occurring at a time when we're got very high unemployment and we haven't had a whole lot of income growth."
Vitner says rising fuel costs will spill into other areas like even higher grocery bills and reduced consumer spending.
He says, “It's likely to cause people to cut back, just like every other place."
Gas prices in Charlotte have already spiked almost 50 cents since the first of the year. Residents we spoke to say another 50 cents will make day to day life almost impossible.
West Charlotte resident Wandra Allamree already spends more than $100 a week on gas. She says there's no room for more, “This is taking from my budget that I'm already tightly on."
For Ryan Jones it's more than just cutting back and switching from premium.
The Fayetteville resident says, “It's pretty bad and I don't know what we're supposed to do, so."
Joe Cannamela says it means higher operating cost and fewer customers.
He says, “With them having less money to spend because of gas it will be less money for them to spend on my services."
Vitner says higher gasoline taxes in North Carolina and typically higher prices in Charlotte means the Queen City is already feeling the pinch.