Analyst: Gas prices may hinder recovery

May 30, 2009 at 2:34 PM

NEW YORK, May 30 (UPI) -- Rising gas prices in the United States may hinder government attempts to bring the country out of recession, an analyst says.

Tom Kloza, the Oil Price Information Service's chief oil analyst, said with gas prices rising steadily nationwide, struggling Americans may limit their summer vacations and therefore limit the country's economic recovery, CNN/Money reported Saturday.

"There's way too much optimism about a driving season lift," Kloza said.

As of Saturday, a gallon of regular unleaded gas was selling at $2.488 national on average. The motorist group AAA said that price came after Friday's average of $2.467, representing the 32nd consecutive gas price increase this year.

Kloza said with U.S. residents potentially limiting their summer travels amid higher gas prices, states such as Arizona, California and Florida will be among those impacted the greatest.

"People are crazy when it comes to the price of gasoline," he told CNN/Money. "Nothing has quite the emotional component than gas prices do."

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