The average U.S. gasoline price surged 11%, or 40 cents, since last week and is set to surpass 2008’s record-high of $4.11 a gallon within the coming days after hitting $4 on Sunday. Gas prices have already risen to nearly $7 a gallon in parts of Los Angeles County.
Global food prices — already up 20.7% year over year — will likely rise after Russia’s trade ministry called for a broad suspension of fertilizer exports.
Wheat futures in Chicago jumped by the maximum daily limit for the sixth straight session, rising 7% to $12.94 a bushel on Sunday to build on a massive 49% surge last week. Ukraine, a major exporter, said it would immediately transfer shipments to railcars after its Black Sea ports were shut down, while China said it would reduce exports after suffering a rain-delayed planting season.
Dwell times for containers at the congested Port of Houston are up to 11 days.
Hotels, restaurants, amusement parks and other hospitality industries led the hiring surge.
The U.S. has just 2.1 million jobs to go before hitting the February 2020 level of employment and recouping all positions lost in the pandemic.
The average monthly gain for jobs in the trucking industry has been around 5,400 since the beginning of 2021, with about 119,000 jobs added since the start of the pandemic. Driver demographics are changing dramatically, with almost half of applicants under age 40 last quarter.
Global COVID-19 deaths topped 6 million, with 1 million fatalities in the past 125 days.
South Korea reported over 210,000 new COVID-19 cases Monday, its fourth straight day of virus cases topping 200,000.
Long-protected New Zealand’s COVID-19 wave is growing, with case counts exploding from less than 1,000 per day to more than 22,000 per day in just two weeks.
Roughly 15% of Hong Kong’s 7.4 million people have now tested positive for COVID-19, as authorities prepare for several days of strict lockdowns that will require every resident to be tested multiple times. The island’s medical resources are stretched to the brink, with ambulances taking more than a day to respond in some cases.
China recorded 526 new COVID-19 cases Monday, its largest one-day tally since the Wuhan outbreak at the start of the pandemic over two years ago.