Gas prices are near $3 a gallon, which is high for the holiday season. Retailers are nervous about the impact on consumer spending, but analysts say prices should start to come down soon.
Call it the Grinch in the gas tank.
With only about 2-1/2 weeks until Christmas, the national price of gasoline is $2.98 a gallon, closing in on the three buck mark, a level the nation has never seen this late in the holiday season.
In many states, $3 a gallon would be welcome since they are already much higher. In Hawaii, motorists are paying $3.54 a gallon and $3.51 a gallon in Alaska, according to AAA, the national motorists organization. But, even in New York gasoline costs $3.23 a gallon and in California it’s $3.24. Last year, the price of gasoline was 35 cents a gallon cheaper.
Retailers are nervously watching to see what the higher gasoline prices mean.
“It is an additional shock to your wallet that you were not expecting,” says Kathy Grannis, a spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation in Washington. “But, we are not hearing that consumers are worried in the long run on the effect of gas prices on their wallets.”