The combination of rising gasoline prices and the steepest increase in the cost of food in a generation is threatening to push the US economy into a recession, according to Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners.
Of the six US recessions since 1970, all but the "9-11 year 2001 recession" have been linked to—of not triggered by—energy prices that crossed the 6 percent of personal consumption expenditures, he said. (During the shallow 2001 recession, energy prices had risen to about 5 percent of spending, which is higher than the long-term 4 percent share.)
What may make matters worse this time around, is there has been a steep increase in food prices that occurred as well. In other recent recessions food costs were benign, at between 7.5 percent and 7.8 percent of spending.
This year food prices have climbed 6.5 percent since the beginning of early January, according to Consumer Growth Partners.