Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Misery of High Cost of Oil

Oil Prices FireThe rising cost of oil, nearly $100 a barrel, has greatly impacted American consumers in their wallets during the past year. And the food sector has been especially hit hard.

The rising cost of transporting food from fields to America's dinner tables has created hardship and misery for millions of Americans as they've seen their purchasing power diminished by rising oil costs. From milk and cheese to bread and beer, the higher cost of transportation fuel has impacted the American economy.

Recent inflation figures released by the government show the dramatic increase of transportation fuel costs this year. Energy costs increased 5.7 percent in November and have increased at an astonishing 33 percent annual rate in the past three months. Transportation costs rose 14.4 percent for the three months.

One way we're tracking the impact of rising oil costs and its impact is with an "Oil Misery Index(tm)": The cost of one gallon of gasoline and the cost of one gallon of milk. These are two purchases and prices that most Americans know and products they buy every week. The "Oil Misery Index(tm)" as of December 2007 is $6.80. This is up $1.32 (24%) from last year.
Oil Misery Index High Cost of Oil Inflation gasoline milk

Dec '07 $6.80 ($3.80+$3.00)
Dec '06 $5.52 ($3.20+$2.32)

Avg Whole Milk Price, per gallon:
Dec '07 $3.80
Dec '06 $3.20

Avg Regular Unleaded Gasoline, per gallon
Dec '07 $3.00
Dec '06 $2.32

We'll be checking in on the OMI from time to time this year to track oil's high price of misery and hardship on American consumers.

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