Gas is probably about to get even more expensive! The COLA tracker might hit close to 10 percent soon:
According to an EIA release yesterday, oil refineries west of the Rockies were operating at between 94 and 97 percent capacity during the week ending May 20, 2022:
That level of production is almost unsustainable by most accounts and we haven’t even reached the summer driving season yet. Estimated gasoline demand last week was 8.8 million barrels, which represents lessened demand, probably due to record high prices. “Implied Demand”, as this estimate is called, bears watching as the refineries seem to have very little capacity left. Price spikes above $5 per gallon nationwide would likely follow demand higher than 9 million.
Gas prices are a big part of the CPI-W, which drives the current COLA Tracker:
“The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) increased 8.9 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 284.575 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index rose 0.5 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.”
COLA Tracker: That is 6.0 percent more than September 2021’s reading, meaning that if prices stayed the same until September 30, 2022 Social Security disability beneficiaries would get a 6.0
Percent increase in benefits beginning in January 2023. FERS Disability beneficiaries would get a 5.0 increase and Maryland State Disability retirement beneficiaries would get an increase based on complex factors based on contracts signed previously.