By Jennifer McLogan

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Labor Department’s consumer price index has jumped 5.4% from a year earlier.

With soaring prices, some shoppers are hitting the panic button, but many experts say this is a temporary economic reaction to coming out of COVID.

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Hofstra University senior Samantha Visco is among those panicked at the pump.

“My gas is, like, crazy. I have a Jeep Wrangler, and it’s like $54 just to fill it,” she said.

Inflation continues to surge.

In June, consumer prices accelerated at the fastest pace since 2008, led by gasoline along with the prices of used cars and trucks, which are up more than 45% from a year ago as the economy emerges from the pandemic.

“With that increased demand comes increased prices, and we, in essence, have lower supply because of the production cutbacks instituted by OPEC Plus,” said AAA Northeast spokesman Robert Sinclair.

“Oh, I’ve definitely noticed prices going up. I just blame it on COVID and the supply chain being strained,” said Andrew Taveras, a shopper in Carle Place.

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Supply chain bottlenecks could last through the summer, says Hofstra economic expert Martin Melkonian.

“Conditions for sustained inflation are not in place today. These mostly were brought about by temporary factors, supply disruptions,” Melkonian told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.

Saving for the future seems out of the question.

“We are using financial aid to pay for school, but it’s just more money we’re spending now that we’re still going to have to pay back eventually, soreally no one’s winning here,” college student Nikah Hatcher said.

Airline fares are soaring, along with car rentals, housing and shelter and food prices, especially meats, milk, eggs and corn. One family said they even see dog food prices spiking.

A labor shortage that’s preventing some businesses from fully reopening and wage hikes to attract new workers are also driving up some costs.

“I see how different the prices are from a year ago,” shopper Kathleen Salerno said.

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Shoppers are banking that this is temporary.

Jennifer McLogan