Who's Afraid Of Pricey Oil?

Why the recent hikes at the pump don't worry Alan Greenspan--or those sport-ute-loving consumers

If you're looking for signs of inflation in the U.S. economy, look no farther than the nearest gas pump. Since hitting a 12-year low of $11 a barrel last December, oil prices have more than doubled to just above $25, the biggest hike in such a short time in modern history, except for times of major turmoil in the Middle East. What's worse, the increased prices come when the U.S. gets more of its oil from overseas than ever, and the U.S. trade deficit is hitting record highs. In an economy already running in high gear--in giant sport-utility vehicles, no less--the surge in petroleum prices certainly seems to spell trouble.

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