The drop in gasoline prices is over again for now. Both the Lundberg and AAA Fuel Gauge show that the price of a gallon of regular has moved higher recently. Lundberg reports it at $3.50, up nine cents in two weeks. Fortunately for the economy, the number is well below the nearly $4 price reached in early spring. It is not certain that high gas prices hurt the economy or that lower ones have helped much.
Economists have had trouble coupling the price of gas with gross domestic product or consumer spending. When gas prices were high, GDP and employment were improving. Now that prices have fallen, so has job creation and GDP improvement. It is tempting to try to pair prices with growth, but the link may not even be a coincidence.
Douglas A. McIntyre