COLOGNE, Germany - At a gas station near the Cologne, Germany, airport, Bernd Mueller watches the digits quickly climb on the pump: 22 euros ($23), 23 euros, 24 euros. The numbers showing how much gasoline he’s getting rise, too. But much more slowly.
Painfully slowly."I’m getting rid of my car this October, November," said Mueller, 80. "I’m retired, and then there’s gas and all that. At some point, you’ve got to scale back."Across the globe, drivers like Mueller are rethinking their habits and personal finances amid skyrocketing prices for gasoline and diesel, fueled by Russia's war in Ukraine and the global rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Energy prices are a key driver of inflation that is rising worldwide and making the cost of living more expensive.A motorcycle taxi driver in Vietnam turns off his ride-hailing app rather than burn precious fuel during rush-hour backups. A French family scales back ambitions for an August vacation. A graphic designer in California factors the gas price into the bill for a night out.
A mom in Rome, figuring the cost of driving her son to camp, mentally crosses off a pizza night.Decisions across the world’s economy are as varied as the consumers and countries themselves: Walk more. Dust off that bicycle. Take the subway, the train or the bus.
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