By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — From food and medicine to housing, it seems like everything is costing more. In fact — gas prices have hit pre-pandemic levels.

Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis at Gas Buddy,  explained why there’s been a sharp increase.

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“We’re seeing this trend across the country,” De Haan said. “Moving forward, gas prices are kind of a leader in economic trends because it signals the nation is recovering or that the nation is feeling more comfortable with the current status of COVID and getting out and about more often.”

De Haan said, in the last month, gas prices in Los Angeles are up about 25 cents per gallon – a number that could keep rising.

Listed below are average gas prices as of Wednesday:

  • L.A. County – $3.53 a gallon for unleaded.
  • Orange County – $3.50 a gallon for unleaded.
  • Riverside – $3.44 a gallon for unleaded.
  • San Bernardino – $3.46 a gallon for unleaded.
  • Ventura county – $3.49 a gallon for unleaded.

Each county is now close to the price drivers were paying a year ago.

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It’s not only gas prices that are going up.  There’s also been an increase in food, medical care, clothing and housing.

“The price increases you’re experiencing now are really a bounce back from the weak price growth we saw earlier this year as a result of the pandemic driven recession,” said Christopher Thornberg with Beacon Economics.

Thornberg said despite the increases, prices are still relatively low.

“You’re still up only 1.4 percent on a year-over-year basis. If you happen to be unemployed right now, you’re probably more concerned about finding that next job than necessarily this small increase in prices,” Thornberg said.

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“My guess is they’re going to keep their foot on the gas pedal for a while here…and as the next couple years go on, you’ll see an acceleration in this price growth — to what level — that remains to be seen.”