Food, Gas, Everything Else Going Up - NBC Southern California

Food, Gas, Everything Else Going Up

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    NEWSLETTERS

    On the surface it looks like the economy is improving.

    The Commerce Department said personal income went up three-tenths of a percent while consumer spending rose seven-tenths percent last month.

    A lot of that extra spending was going toward higher food and gas prices. Visit any supermarket and you'll find the cost of keeping the meals coming is soaring.

    North Hollywood resident Paul Curzon told NBCLA.com even the cheaper things are slowly climbing. "It's tough," he said.

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    The commerce department admitted that consumer prices jumped last month by the largest amount in two and a half years or four-tenth of a percent.

    Curzon left a local grocery store with a tiny bag of generic-brand corn flakes, bread and fruit that cost him $5.00.

    Economists admit higher consumer spending may not be helping the economy since the extra pennies are spent at the market and the gas pump and not on things that might juice manufacturing and the economy.

    One economist said the strong spending in the fourth quarter of last year seemed like "a false dawn."

    Meanwhile, people who drive a lot are caught between a pump and a hard place.

    The average price of regular rose in Los Angeles to $4.04 -- just 58 cents below the all-time high hit in June 2008.