Pressure tightens on New Jersey consumers as groceries and gas get more expensive

NEW JERSEY — The financial crisis is tightening as prices rise on just about everything.

On Monday, CBS2’s Meg Baker spoke with New Jersey consumers about the fastest rising prices.

Linda Huff loaded groceries into her car after suffering a sticker shock.

“Prices are going up. Big ones,” said Huff, a Colonia resident. “Condiments, oil, ketchup, mayonnaise.”

“Meat has gone up so much and just your basic groceries, fruit,” Clark’s Barbara Knapp said.

It’s a steady increase. Economist Leo Feler attributes it to post-pandemic inflation, supply chain disruptions and an unstable global market caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Gasoline prices hit a record average of over $4 a gallon.

“We are seeing big supply shocks. We are seeing oil prices going up. We are seeing wheat prices going up. Ukraine is the breadbasket of Europe,” Feler said. “So there’s a lot of concern that this could make an inflation problem even worse.”

Some consumers said gas prices in Baker were hitting especially hard because they had just started commuting to work again. Others said they were just staying closer to home.

“Just really look at every penny now and cut wherever you want to go,” Knapp said.

US Representative Josh Gottheimer introduced a bill to ban imports of Russian oil.

“It’s time to cut ruthless dictators like Putin from US dollars,” Gottheimer said.

Governor Phil Murphy said ban imports of Russian oil would have little effect on New Jersey. The state can only help with the gas tax.

“Last August it was down over eight hundred. It’s on a formula. I’d like it to keep going down,” Murphy said.

So far, the sanctions against Russia have stopped before targeting oil and gas exports. The Biden administration is assessing their potential impact on U.S. energy prices.

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