Paid over $4.00 a gallon this weekend. This high this early in the year brings the gas price back on the macro radar screen.
The EIA notes,
Gasoline expenditures in 2012 for the average U.S. household reached $2,912, or just under 4% of income before taxes, according to EIA estimates. This was the highest estimated percentage of household income spent on gasoline in nearly three decades, with the exception of 2008, when the average household spent a similar amount.
The trend is not our friend.
The U.S. saw unusually high gas prices in February, a month not known for being a driving season.
The short answer is refinery maintenance and outages mostly related to preparations for the summer gasoline blend switch, according to AAA analyst Avery Ash. Refiners appear to be preparing for this switch earlier than usual, he said.
The long answer is that worldwide demand is heating up again, according to the EIA.
For as picked over and criticized as the Fiscal Cliff deal has been over the last few days, a tax break getting less attention than may have been expected is the one thing that impacts anyone taking home a paycheck. With the expiration of a temporary Social Security payroll tax everyone’s take home pay just fell 2%. The question is whether or not the reduction is going to be more of a problem than most investors think.
“This hurts seriously,” says Brian Sozzi, chief equities analyst NBG Productions, warning that next week Americans will feel “payroll shock.”
SOURCE AND Read more at http://investmentwatchblog.com/consumer-spending-implosion-alert-americans-spend-4-of-their-paycheck-on-gas-2-more-on-payroll-taxes-employers-cut-workers-hours-to-sidestep-obamacare-and-inflation-is-starting-to-kick-in/#L5WlGgGMKVQOHgWB.99