How tensions between Russia and Ukraine could impact US consumers

Published: Feb. 23, 2022 at 9:35 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Tensions between Russia and Ukraine are rapidly growing.

You may wonder what impact the situation, a world away, could have on us here in the US.

Economic experts say, right now, it’s a guessing game of how further tensions between Russia and Ukraine could hurt consumer pockets.

“Right now we are in the risk phase, where everyone is trying to figure out what the full extent of hostility will end up being,” said David Flynn, the research director at the Institute of Policy and Business Analytics at the University of North Dakota.

US consumers are already dealing with rising prices like paying more at the gas pump.

Flynn says the tensions could possibly make inflation worse.

“Increasing natural gas prices and oil prices. You could look at other commodities that come out of that area. That could be corn and other cereal grains. You’ll start to see those kinds of prices increase or at least not decrease like you had anticipated,” he said.

Flynn says war could mean more pressure on the US to make larger financial commitments.

“That then starts to raise questions about how are we financing these commitments? What is that going to do as the federal reserve and others attempt to raise interest rates? Is that going to change the calculus both political and economic going forward,” he said.

Flynn says there are other concerns as tensions continue to spiral.

“It seems likely that we will expect cyber attacks on financial institutions, maybe along gasoline supply lines like we saw in October,” he said.

Right now, Flynn says consumers do not need to worry.

“Cautious, sure. I think it’s a situation that consumers should pay attention to because its the kind of thing that will have unpredictable side effects.”

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