Atlanta leads nation in inflation, hitting drivers hard in their wallets

Atlanta leads the nation when it comes to inflation. It is higher than any other major metropolitan area in the United States.

Experts say Atlanta is getting hit hard and some drivers are feeling it in their wallets. Gray Schaufler said the price for a gallon of regular is pretty high right now.

"$3.99 a gallon," Schaufler said.

That’s about $80 for him to fill up.

Reporter: "How much does that hurt?" 

Schaufler: "It’s painful—it’s painful. It’s near double in the past four years in this car."

He said that won’t stop him from driving to visit family in North Carolina this Thanksgiving.

"You’re not hitting the road as hard or as long—but for the holidays—I’ll definitely be out driving," he said.

Gas prices are just one metric of inflation. 

"It’s not clear why we’re being impacted the way we’re being impacted," said economist Tom Smith.

Smith is a finance professor at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University.

"It probably has a lot to do with what kind of good we’re consuming," Smith said.

Atlanta’s inflation rate is nearly 8-percent. That’s higher than the national average of 6.2-percent and much higher than cities like San Francisco or New York.

"I’m sure it has a lot to do with how goods are being transported here, what kind of income people have, and what they’re purchasing," Smith said. "It’s very possible that getting good to Atlanta right now is particularly expensive, which would have upward pressure on prices as well."

Smith said more people are traveling as pandemic restrictions ease.

"Airline travel miles have increased, individual car travel miles have increased, so people are moving more around the country than they have been the last 16-months," Smith said. "That’s going to put pressure on demand which is going to put pressure on prices."

"We have no choice. We have to get to where we’re going, said King Jones.

AAA is expecting holiday travel will reach near pre-pandemic levels.

Jones said high gas prices or not he still has to drive.

"I still gotta get to work. I still gotta get to where I need for the holidays," Jones said. "You’re not going to let high gas prices stop you from going where you need to go. I can’t, the moment I do that is the moment I let my money dwindle. I have places to be."

Drivers say they won’t let these prices stop them from getting where they need to go. They say when "you gotta go, you gotta go."