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Gas price surge may stall recovery

Gas prices jump 20% in 31 days, nearing $2.50 a gallon and putting more pressure on the already battered economy.

NEW YORK ( — The rising price of gasoline is putting pressure on cash-strapped motorists and throwing barricades into the path of a speedy economic recovery.

The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas edged up to $2.467 on Friday, from $2.449 the day before, according to motorist group AAA.

That marks the 31st consecutive increase. In that one-month period, the average price of gas jumped 41.9 cents a gallon, or more than 20%.

That surge is causing concern for drivers as the summer driving season gets underway.

Americans are already dealing with high unemployment and a collapsing housing market. If gas prices continue to climb at their heady rates, Americans who are living “paycheck to paycheck” could put the brakes on their plans to tool around this summer, crimping some of the government’s efforts to pull the economy out of recession, said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service.


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