Americans got another bad news this week. This winter, heating bills will be higher. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), nearly half of American households that heat their homes primarily with natural gas can expect to spend an average of 30% more on your bills compared to last year.
The agency adds that bills will be 50% higher if winter is 10% colder than average and 22% higher if winter is 10% warmer than average.
At the same time, the national consumer already suffers in gasoline prices the rise of more than 65% in oil prices so far this year while those of the natural gas have soared more than 112% since January.
Since last October, gasoline prices have risen about $ 1.10 per gallon (3.1 liters) and are currently hovering around $ 1.10 per gallon. 3,27 dlares por galn, according to AAA. The price could continue to climb as West Texas Intermediate surpassed $ 80 a barrel this week for the first time since 2014 and maintains its run towards $ 100.
“We have an increase in energy that will be a drag on fourth quarter growth.”
Bruce Kasman, chief economist at JPMorgan, acknowledged in a note to his clients that periods of rising oil prices tend to cause problems since they bring with them disturbing elements wider with possible weights for growth.
“We have an increase in energy that will be a drag on growth in the fourth quarter,” he warns while clarifying that he does not see a recession “but we do have to worry about it affecting growth significantly.”
All this at a time when inflation reached in September a 5.4% year-on-year increase (4% at its underlying rate) gradually permeating the consumer portfolio as bottlenecks and supply problems threaten to spoil the Christmas shopping season.
Retailers are trying to keep up despite pressures looming over the final stretch of the year, including worker shortages and supply chain disruptions.
Three in four US retailers say consumers expect more from stores than they can deliver due to a labor shortage, according to a survey by staff management specialist UKG. About 85% expect supply chain disruptions affect customers.
For now, ICSC, the main shopping center organization on this side of the Atlantic, is feeling quite optimistic about the upcoming Christmas season, despite supply chain headaches and expects sales in November and December to increase. 8.9% compared to last year.
Last year, spending grew 8.3%. More than double the 3.5% average growth of the previous five years, according to holiday figures reported by the National Retail Federation (NRF).