ADJUSTMENTS REQUIRED: Consumers warned to brace for oil and energy price jumps amid Russia-Ukraine conflict

ADJUSTMENTS REQUIRED: Consumers warned to brace for oil and energy price jumps amid Russia-Ukraine conflict
Police officers inspect an area after an apparent Russian strike in Kyiv Ukraine, Thursday, February 24, 2022. (ASSOCIATED PRESS/EMILIO MORENATTI)

Former state minister of finance says already high inflation could shoot even higher

Smith: Silver lining could be more travelers to Bahamas over Europe 

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamian consumers will have to “make adjustments” to handle increased inflation, particularly on oil and energy prices as Russia’s attack on Ukraine has already had a ripple effect on the global economy, a former state finance minister has warned. 

James Smith.

James Smith, a former finance minister in the first Christie administration, told Eyewitness News that while the outcome of the conflict between Russia — one of the world’s largest oil producers— and Ukraine is difficult to predict at this stage, it will undoubtedly have an impact on oil and energy prices.

Russia’s offensive yesterday sent stock markets around the world tumbling.

Russia and Ukraine are also major producers of grains and various other commodities, whose prices have also soared.

“We are already in a high inflation environment,” Smith noted. 

“Many of the products we import are energy-based, and so, increased oil and energy costs are a big certainty even if it’s for a short term.

“That is going to impact transportation and travel, including air travel.”

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That is going to impact transportation and travel, including air travel.

– James Smith, former minister of state for finance 

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He added: “People are going to have to make their adjustments with their purchases and their budgets will have to be reallocated as necessary.

“We have to think of the impact all of this is having on the people of Ukraine, who were going about their daily lives in a free country one day and woke up the next day under siege.

“This is another example of why we have to thank God for our location.”

Smith noted there is a possibility of a silver lining for this nation.

“I remember in the 1970s, during the Arab-Israeli wars where we saw a restriction in travel to Europe and at that time we ourselves were going into a recession,” he said. 

“We then had an uptick in arrivals because visitors didn’t want to travel to Europe. We may just see a similar effect as persons decide they want to stay closer to home.”