Gas Spikes to All-Time Record

Pump pain hits consumer spending
By J. Kelman,  Newser User
Posted May 21, 2007 12:01 PM CDT
An oil refinery works is seen in Port Arthur, Texas, Thursday, May 17, 2007. Gasoline prices hit new records at the pump again Thursday, while gas and oil futures traded higher on continued concerns that...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Gas hit a record high of $3.18 yesterday, soaring past the previous all-time high, the inflation-adjusted 1981 price of $3.15 per gallon. A spate of fires and power outages have crippled the nation's refineries, sending prices soaring even as crude oil costs drop. That's turning consumers away from non-essential purchases like clothing and big-ticket items, CNNMoney reports.

Pain in the pocketbook won't keep Americans off the road this weekend, according to AAA, which anticipates a record number of Memorial Day weekend motorists. And prices still aren't high enough to push automakers to develop technologies that make SUVs more fuel-efficient, BusinessWeek reports. More likely, purchasing patterns will shift away from the gas-guzzlers.