Consumers Mull Cuts at the Pump

April 19, 2011  |  

(Christian Science Monitor) — With about six weeks to go until the summer driving season begins, the price of a gallon of gasoline is just 18 cents away from the record price of $4.11, which was set in the summer of 2008.  The prices at the pump hit a national average of $3.83 a gallon on Monday, according to AAA. That’s close to the point where consumers say they will have to start cut back to pay their fuel expenses. This could adversely affect restaurants, malls, and entertainment venues that count on people driving to get there. Some analysts say it’s one reason the stock market has been struggling recently, including on Monday, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 140.24 points to close at 12,201.59.  “I am sure the rising cost of energy is bothering the market,” says Fred Dickson, chief investment strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co. in Lake Oswego, Ore. “I do think the uptick in gasoline prices will have an impact on consumer spending in the next few quarters.”

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