CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – From oil topping $100 per barrel to higher prices at the gas pump. 22News spoke with a professor of economics at AIC who said it’s the perfect storm of inflation and this crisis in Ukraine that’s driving up prices for consumers here in the U.S.

“We got a perfect storm brewing,” said John Rogers, Economics and Finance professor at American International College. He explained, “Inflation is pretty strong at least through the end of the year. A lot of that is what the federal reserve is able to do and what happens with this crisis.”

Inflation continues nationwide and felt right here in western Massachusetts. Now the crisis in Ukraine is causing more concern on how it will effect the U.S. economy.

“It’s just the geopolitical instability,” Rogers continued. “You’ve seen the stock market highly volatile in the last couple of weeks. Anyone with a 401k plan is probably nervous about. The other big area is energy, it’s a worldwide market and the price of oil goes up around the world, it’s going to affect us as well.”

A day after the Russian invasion into Ukraine oil topped $100 a barrel, and for every $10 increase, gas prices can go up by 20 cents. The average gas price here in Massachusetts is $3.54, a 98 cent surge from this time last year. It’s not just energy prices, but food also inflating in costs.

Rogers told 22News, “Things like wheat, that’s going to go up. Ukraine is a big producer of wheat. What you pay for your bread or just about anything else is affected by the price of wheat.”

22News asked Rogers, can western Massachusetts residents expect relief anytime soon?

His response, “I think so, my primary recommendation, stay steady and don’t panic. With your investments you want to take a long view. Just to the after affects of the two year pandemic when the economy was shut down we just got to work through that. I think the underlying economy is very strong.”

Professor Rogers recommends that people should budget their money as these prices continue to go up.