(STL.News) Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, America’s economy has taken a brutal hit. Things had improved dramatically during the Trump administration. However, everything came to a screeching halt when the coronavirus pandemic led to shutdowns across the country. Although the pandemic is coming to an end, it is quickly becoming clear that the economy will not return to normal. Some businesses are gone for good, and others are struggling to find new workers.
In recent weeks, Americans have been negatively impacted by gas shortages and inflation. Whether working or collecting unemployment benefits, these problems are leading to money problems for many. Below, readers will learn more about these ongoing problems.
Last week, it was announced that Colonial Pipeline had experienced a hack that led to the closing of the company’s eastern pipeline. The pipeline transports roughly 45% of the fuel consumed by Americans on the east coast. Right now, it is known that the hack was carried out by a Russian hacker group known as Darkside. Once Colonial was alerted to the hack, it immediately shut down its systems and stopped the pipeline. Ransomware attacks are growing, and this is one of the recent attacks.
How does it happen? In general, these hacks occur because an employee opened a phishing email and clicked on the link inside. Alternatively, there is a chance that the company was using an outdated operating system, and that led to a compromised network. Colonial Pipeline operators could easily be blamed, but none of that will change the ongoing impact.
Since the pipeline has been closed, more than one thousand gas stations in the Southeast have run out of fuel. Another issue is that gas prices are climbing significantly higher across the country. Some believe that the problem will worsen if the company cannot fix the problem before the weekend. However, Colonial Pipeline has confirmed that it is beginning to restart operations. In addition to this, several states have declared states of emergencies to deal with the ongoing problem.
Regardless, the shutdown has led to gas price spikes across the country. Prices have now topped $3 per gallon for the first time in 7 years. Georgia has experienced the biggest increase, with prices jumping from $2.67 to $2.90. It doesn’t help that there are concerns that America could experience gas shortages this summer. If this happens, Americans will be paying more than ever for gasoline soon.
Many people would like to spend their money on entertainment, streaming services, and the best online casino India has to offer. However, the recent increases in inflation could put a damper on their summer fantasies. On Wednesday, it was announced that inflation had climbed significantly higher. As a result, American and foreign stock markets dropped swiftly. Although the pandemic is coming to an end, it is far from over. Many will agree that there is more pain ahead. With supply chain concerns and the United States government endlessly printing money, the risk of inflation is not going to disappear anytime soon.
In April, consumer prices in the United States climbed 4.2%. The increase was much higher than what economists predicted. In fact, it was the largest 12-month increase since September of 2008, which was during the peak of the financial crisis. Between March and April, prices increases by 0.8%. It doesn’t help that most analysts agree that inflation will continue climbing higher. Core inflation was 3%. One of the biggest factors was the price increase in used vehicles. Used car and truck prices climbed 10% during the month. During the past year, these prices have climbed 21%.
Food prices also climbed by 0.4% and 2.4% compared to this time last year. Thankfully, energy prices dropped slightly. Nevertheless, Americans are experiencing higher prices at the pump and grocery store. If inflation keeps prices elevated for too long, there is a risk that Americans will stop spending money. The American economy relies heavily on consumer spending, so that would be devastating.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has done a number on the American economy. Although some sectors are roaring back to life, others are not. In addition to this, prices are increasing everywhere. Therefore, Americans need to begin preparing for the coming months because higher prices should be expected.