In some parts of the country, gasoline prices have hit $4 a gallon. The U.S. Energy Department estimates gas prices nationally will average $3.86 per gallon through the summer. That's a big increase — up nearly 40 percent compared with last year. So what does that mean for the economy?
Economists are trying to figure out how much rising gasoline prices will hurt consumer confidence and consumer spending.
The higher prices are not going unnoticed at Stan Hatoff's discount gas station in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood.
"It's not good for the people; this is very bad," customer Omery Velagoshti says while filling up his tank.
Velagoshti, who works delivering food for his son's family restaurant, says he has been making some changes in response to the rising gas prices.
"I go for shopping or just for coffee less than before," Velagoshti says. He wants to save money to make up for the extra money he's spending on gas.
At the next pump, Nancy Morales and her husband, Luis, are putting $50 in their old Jeep Cherokee. Their son is in the back seat.
"Every weekend is like, nope, money for gas not personal items," Nancy says.
The family runs a small house-cleaning business, and they've been cutting back a bit, too.
"We wanted to go to Bonkers [Funhouse Pizza] this weekend, and we have to [decide between] Bonkers and the price of gas," she says.
To save money, they decided not to eat at Bonkers, where their son likes to play video games.
When gas prices rise it like a tax it means there is less money for consumers to spend on other things. This article give a vivid example of what I'm talking about. If people are spending more on gas due to price spikes it will mean there is less for them to spend on things like anime. (already pricey to begin with.)Blowing a little less money on pizza and video games probably won't drag down the whole economy, but if hundreds of millions of people start cutting back in significant ways, that could add up to big problems.
Rising gas prices also set off a cascading effect in the economy also. high gas prices forces upward pressure on the prices of goods and services since it cost more to transport a goods from point A to point B. In 2008 prices were above $4 USD for only a few months and went back down, however it appears that prices are going to above $4 USD and stay there for a long period.
What type of impact this will have on anime conventions are unknown.