After drifting downward, gas prices are on the rise again

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Gas prices across the country are seeing an upward trend again. The national average for a gallon of gas is now $4.15 a gallon, according to AAA. 

High prices and lingering supply constraints pushed GDP down this past quarter by 1.4% – after a year and a half of growth. 

Despite some predictions of a looming downturn, President Biden insisted Thursday the underlying economy is strong. 

“Last quarter, consumer spending and business investment and residential investment increased at a significant rate,” Mr. Biden said. “Our unemployment’s the lowest rate since 1970.”

This doesn’t make things easier for Claude Burns. His company provides drinks and snacks to San Francisco businesses. He told CBS News that they are seeing up to 75% price increases in their durable goods. 

“I probably spend at least half a day thinking about different sort of supply chain products, inflation-related things,” he said. 

Democratic leaders announced a new bill Thursday that would give the Federal Trade Commission the power to investigate the way energy companies set prices. 

Energy analyst Helima Croft said there are several factors driving gas prices up, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

“The question is the duration of the war. We had a market, an oil market that was already fairly tight in terms of supply and demand at the start of the year. We had optimism about a recovery from COVID, people were driving to work,” she said. 

Some Democrats are open to a federal gas tax holiday, eliminating 18 cents a gallon. But key Democratic leaders oppose that idea, worrying it would prompt oil companies to raise their prices even higher.

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