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Duke Economist: Gas and food prices likely to rise, but may then fall

The prices at a gas station in Los Angeles earlier this month.
Frederic J. Brown
AFP/Getty Images
The prices at a gas station in Los Angeles earlier this month.

While the federal reserve continues to raise interest rates, economists are uncertain that it will quickly curtail inflation.

Prices are likely to remain high and continue increasing, despite recent interest rate hikes from the federal reserve.

Emma Rasiel is a professor of economics at Duke University, and expects gas prices to remain high, even if national Democrats move forward with a gas tax holiday.

“It's the providers of gas who are the ones who get that break," she said. "Maybe they will pass on eight to 10 cents to consumers. Overall, I think it's a fairly small impact.”

Gas prices aren’t the only way consumers are feeling inflation- food is a major concern as well.

“We’ve seen meat prices in particular go up a lot," Rasiel explained. "Fruit and vegetable prices have not gone up as much for various reasons, but I think over the course of this year we may see those fruit and vegetables going up in prices as well because there are constraints on access to fertilizers, which is really affecting the production cycles.”

But it is possible that the prices of these goods will fall once economic circumstances change. Gas and food are both volatile markets, Rasiel said, and both have seen prices rise and then fall in the past.

"We can all think about the sort of cyclicality of gas prices because we're all very sensitive to it, you know, back in 2008, gas prices were at $4. Five or six years later, they were down to less than $2 a gallon," she said.

She said similar market forces apply to food as well, so consumers may see those prices reverse course.

Kelly Kenoyer is an Oregonian transplant on the East Coast. She attended University of Oregon’s School of Journalism as an undergraduate, and later received a Master’s in Journalism from University of Missouri- Columbia. Contact her on Twitter @Kelly_Kenoyer or by email: KKenoyer@whqr.org.