Friday, January 4, 2008

Oil Squeezes the Less Affluent

wall street journal oil squeezes the less affluentThe Wall Street Journal on Thursday took aim at oil's high cost squeeze against the less affluent.
Yet as the fourth year of rising fuel prices filters down to the pump, to grocery bills and to the thermostat, the cost is clearly starting to pinch some Americans. Gasoline prices lately -- now averaging about $3.05 for a gallon of the regular variety, according to federal data -- are near their highest since 1981, adjusted for inflation.
As the cost of a barrel of oil crossed over the $100 mark this week and is expected to soar to even greater heights this year, those less affluent will be hit the most. They will be unable to afford higher gasoline to get to work, heating oil to keep them warm and pay oil's higher cost impact on other items they need to live.
For the less-affluent, the tough times are here. "Those folks are already being squeezed, but they'll be squeezed even more," said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at Global Insight, an economic forecasting and consulting firm.
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