Expert Explains Impacts Russia-Ukraine War Could Have on U.S. Economy

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The stock market closed Thursday on a healthy rebound from the major turn it took overnight, but volatility influenced by Russia's invasion of Ukraine is likely far from over.

The war in Ukraine could have a direct impact on the global and U.S. economy. The price Americans pay at the pump is one example. 

University of San Diego Professor of Economics Alan Gin said the price of groceries, new or used cars, and even the price of feed for livestock could increase. 

Inflation was forecasted to ease in 2022, according to Gin, but the recent events in Ukraine could cause some major disruption, possibly continuing to impact the automobile industry. 

“We’ll see a continuation of shortage of cars. New car production is going to be impacted and that’ll also have an impact on used cars as well,” Gin said. 

Plus, Ukraine is the fourth-largest exporter of titanium, so production issues with the element are also something Gin says should be considered, which could impact products like surgical tools, prosthetics, and even sporting goods like golf clubs. 

Not only that, but the bigger impact could also be on food since Ukraine is a major exporter of grains, such as barley. 

“I think the price of feed is going to go up, which means that the price of meat is going to go up,” Gin said. 

The economic impacts are heavy, but San Diego State University Director of Comparative International Studies Zamiera Abman told NBC 7 about the emotional feelings others might be feeling during this time.

“Just think about San Diego, it was a cold night. It’s unusual for the city and you kind of try to find refuge in the safety of your home where there are utilities,” Abman said. “That will not be available to an average Ukrainian.” 

She emphasized that staying informed on developments is more important than ever.

“Not necessarily even across the border but with each other and knowing and nurturing a sense of empathy and affiliation with those who are under threat of this war,” Abman said. “I think it’s helpful in processing the trauma we are all facing emotionally.”  

The war could also have lingering impacts on the price of oil, digging deeper into the pockets of Americans. Gin says the United States imports 600,000 barrels of oil from Russia a day, and if price hikes in the cost of gas continue to go up, that could mean a decrease in spending across several other industries, like retail and restaurants.  

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