Local News

High Gas Prices Affecting Businesses' Bottom Lines

Posted March 31, 2004

— When beautiful flowers arrive at your door, they do not get there by magic.

Someone loads them into a truck and delivers them.

A Raleigh florist spends about $1,700 per month for gas. Its most recent gas bill was $2,400.

"Right now, it is just affecting our bottom line," florist Leigh Davis said. "We're not passing it on to the consumer at this point."

Imagine that a dozen roses represent the U.S. economy, which produces roughly $11 trillion a year in goods and services. For every 10-percent permanent increase in gas rates, the economy loses about $100 billion, or one rose -- roughly one percent.

It may not seem like much. But it can have a significant impact in the long run.

Gas prices affect everyone. For example, a pizza delivery person pays for gas out of his own pocket.

"It doesn't really affect the money that I make," deliveryman Josh Drukenrod said. "It affects the money I spend. Over the period of time since I first started, I've probably lost about $50 a month just in gas."

High gas prices also are having a huge impact on the moving industry.

"I think our fuel prices are up 25 to 30 percent in the last 60 days," moving company manager Don Ashworth said.

A tractor trailer can use as much as 300 gallons of gas to travel one way from North Carolina to the West Coast. At today's prices, this can cost more than $600.

"I'm hoping it's just a part of the political process, and it will reverse itself shortly," Ashworth said. "It usually does. We have seen this before."

Everyone who drives hopes the gas prices will not continue to drive the economy.

The

North Carolina Utilities Commission

regulates how much moving companies can charge customers for gas. The gas surcharge is increased as gas prices increase.

The next increase in the surcharge is expected to go into effect April 15.

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