SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The average San Diego family will spend $463 more on gasoline this year if prices stay high, according to a report released today by the National University System Institute for Policy Research.
The average price of a gallon of unleaded gasoline in San Diego was $4.37 this week, a jump of 86 cents -- or 25 percent -- in two-and-a-half months, according to the report.
The pain at the pump will force people to cut back on things such as coffee and fast food, the institute's Erik Bruvold said.
"Wherever in their household budgets they have what can be called 'discretionary spending,' (those are) likely the places families will make cutbacks to pay for the gasoline they are consuming," Bruvold said.
San Diego households spent 4.3 percent of their income on gas and motor oil in 2009-10, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The NUSIPR estimated that figure rose to 5.3 percent last year and to 6.2 percent this year.
Because San Diego has no petroleum industry to speak of, the money spent on gasoline goes out of town, Bruvold said.
NUSIPR earlier predicted the region's economy would grow by 1.9 percent this year but, if the fuel prices remain high, growth may be closer to 1.5 percent, Bruvold said.
He predicted people would make minor changes in driving habits to save fuel, but likely not enough to drive down demand and prices significantly.
Teachers in the Solana Beach School District, who have been without contracts for months, on Thursday pushed for new contracts, but the district is not backing down.
A Ramona man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of stealing tip jars from a half-dozen Poway businesses.
People who take their pets to Del Mar's dog beach wanted to know who planted the incredible garden there.
Local first-responders who put their lives on the line to help victims of the deadly Montecito mudslides were back home Thursday.
A man accused of stabbing a woman to death near an Encanto Park made his first court appearance Thursday.
The San Diego Blood Bank Thursday solicited donations through the end of the month in honor of Father Joe Carroll, who will undergo surgery Feb. 1 due to complications with diabetes.
If you need ideas to help you keep that New Year's resolution going head to Santee for an active lifestyle expo and race this Saturday.
A new construction phase begins for the Mid-Coast Trolley. The Mid-Coast Trolley is an 11-mile extension of the San Diego Trolley Blue Line with service from Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego to UC San Diego and University City.