Friday, March 23, 2012

Wells Fargo says gas price spike will hurt economy

Rising gas prices will hurt the U.S. economy as it continues to recover from recession, but it's not likely to be as bad as the spike in 2008 or in previous decades, Wells Fargo economists say in a research report released Friday.

As gas prices approach $4 per gallon around the country, consumers will again begin adjusting their behavior to dress fewer miles and cutting down on spending elsewhere. The transportation and airline industry will be dealt a serious blow.

But the fundamentals of the economy, while still weak, are more stable than they were in 2008 -- the last time gas prices spiked.

"Yes, there is a negative effect on the U.S. economy, but we estimate that it is not enough to generate a recession," the report says.