The bad news for millions of Australians reeling from sticker shock after visiting their local service station is that they haven't seen anything yet. 2022 seems destined to go down in history as the year our long run of falling prices for many consumer goods, low inflation and cheap money came to an end.
While the Russian invasion of Ukraine is being blamed for the latest global oil price shock, petrol and diesel prices at the bowser were already trending at near-record levels at the start of the year.
That, coupled with the impact of natural disasters and supply change disruptions, was already pushing the inflation rate north more than a month ago.
The impact of the oil price spike - which some have warned could see petrol top $3 a litre - is already spilling over into the rest of the economy.
We depend on petrol and diesel to power the machinery used to grow our food and the trucks that move it, and consumer goods, around the country. They are the lifeblood of our economy.
This is why the government is under increasing pressure to cut the fuel excise - which currently stands at 44 cents a litre - in order make life easier for Australian families and to counter the inflationary effects of the price hike.
Mr Morrison has repeatedly refused to rule an excise cut in or out at this stage. His stock answer since late last week has been "no, the answer is the budget's at the end of the month".
While, on this basis, it appears some adjustment to the excise - or the introduction of another mechanism to offset the cost increase - does seem probable, the government is between a rock and a hard place.
If, for example, it does reduce the excise, it would be very hard to bring it back. That was a lesson the Howard government learnt the hard way when it cut the excise by 1.5 cents a litre and scrapped indexation 21 years ago. That resulted in Australia having some of the lowest fuel prices in the OECD by the time the Abbott government came into office.
As it stands, the excise raises an estimated $11 billion a year to maintain and upgrade the road network. If it were abolished - or even just reduced by half, as beleaguered South Australian Premier Stephen Marshall has called for - this funding would have to be sourced from somewhere else.
Mr Morrison and Mr Frydenberg, who are correct when they say the price increase is the result of factors beyond the government's control, are going to have to come up with something very creative if they are going to get voters onside.
Mr Morrison - who would be concerned by recent polling that indicates Anthony Albanese now matches him in the preferred Prime Minister stakes, and that if an election were held tomorrow the ALP would win in a landslide - is well aware the cost of living is shaping up as a significant election issue.
This has been exacerbated by a long period of wage stagnation, and the expectation of at least one - and possibly more - interest-rate increases before the end of the year.
While the laptop class, which has the luxury of being able to work from home, is at least partly cushioned from the full impact of fuel price rises, lower-paid workers employed in retail, construction, aged care, hospitality and the like will bear the brunt.
And, while the government has talked about tapping the 1.7 million-barrel oil reserve (now worth an estimated $2.3 billion) it has in storage half a world away in the US, that would only be a short-term solution to what could be an ongoing problem.
The 1970s oil shock was a global disaster that sent much of the world into recession and cost hundreds of millions of jobs. It is to be sincerely hoped that this crisis is resolved swiftly and that history does not repeat.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.