• If you live in an area where the cold temperatures make you use the heating, prepare your wallet. It is estimated that there will be a considerable increase in costs in the winter season in the US.

Amid one of the highest levels of inflation in US history, several consumer items have seen dramatic increases, prompting people to make sacrifices to afford them.

The latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics placed year-on-year inflation at 8.3% in August. Among the categories that registered the most increases, food stands out, with 11.4% in the last year, and fuels such as gasoline, with 25.6% in the same period of time.

In addition to these items, consumers should also pay attention to heating costs, which could rise for the winter. The utility company National Fuel estimates that the average customer will pay 50% more than last year to heat their homes.

If normal temperatures continue this winter, the average bill is expected to reach $1,023, up from an average of $684 a year ago.

National Fuel spokeswoman Karen Merkel said rising natural gas prices will hit western New York hard, where more than 90% of homes use gas for heating.

The forecast for the winter also shows that the period of fairly modest heating costs that has lasted more than a decade has come to an end, causing costs to reach even higher levels than were common in the mid-2000s.

Until the 2021 price increase, it had been eight years since the average winter heating bill in Western New York exceeded $600. In the winter of 2015-2016 the average bill was under $400.

The arrival of winter could test the budgets of many consumers. As heating costs rise, so will the savings from energy efficiency and conservation improvements.

Given the increase in prices in various items, a report from the University of Michigan showed that the perspective of Americans is optimistic. They consider that the strongest moment of inflation has passed. Even so, they do not rule out living in a climate of uncertainty in the current present.

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