Record gas prices pushing up everyday costs, dampening economic recovery… Recession Risks Piling Up…

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Americans are facing sticker shock at gas stations across the country, but surging global energy costs are rippling through the economy in other ways, too: Airlines are scaling back on flights. Truckers are adding fuel surcharges. And lawn care companies and mobile dog groomers are upping their service fees.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the surge in energy prices appears to be making the country’s inflation problems much worse.

“Customers really don’t want to hear it, but fuel prices are going through the roof so we’re having to charge more,” said John Migliorini, vice president of Lakeville Trucking in Rochester, N.Y., where diesel costs have nearly doubled to about $400,000 a month. “What choice do we have? I’ve never seen prices jump this high, this fast.”

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The company has a fleet of 30 tractor trailers that transport general freight and food products, including groceries for the supermarket chain Wegmans. Each truck goes through about 100 gallons of diesel a day, Migliorini said.

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Ominous signs are piling up that more turmoil is still coming, as key indicators point toward a potential recession. That could deepen the market rout triggered by the Federal Reserve leading a hawkish shift among central banks and war in Ukraine.

The U.S. Treasury yield curve has collapsed to near inversion — a situation when short-term rates exceed those with longer tenors, which has often preceded a downturn. In Europe, energy costs have climbed to unprecedented levels, as sanctions against Russia exacerbate a global commodity crunch.

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“Over time, the three biggest factors that tend to drive the U.S. economy into a recession are an inverted yield curve, some kind of commodity price shock or Fed tightening,” said Ed Clissold, chief U.S. strategist at Ned Davis Research. “Right now, there appears to be potential for all three to happen at the same time.”

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