According to reports, the average American household will likely spend nearly $3,235 in 2011 on gasoline, which is up $700 from 2010. This represents an increase of about 28%. Can you say, “ouch!”?
Retail gasoline prices soared by 38 cents over the last three weeks to $3.52 per gallon, according to the EIA, because of high crude oil costs due to unrest in the Middle East.
"Because the pass-through of changes in wholesale gasoline prices to the retail level is lagged, pump prices would be expected to rise a further 10 cents per gallon to fully reflect the current wholesale price level even without considering any future wholesale price movements," the EIA said in its weekly review of the oil market.
Higher gasoline prices will give consumers less money to spend on other goods and services, which many economists fear could slow the U.S. economy.
The EIA said it expects drivers will pay an average $3.71 a gallon during the summer peak driving season from June through August, about 98 cents more than last year.