Two dollar plus gasoline prices are already sparking worries the country could fall into recession. Oil price shocks have played a role in four of the last five United States recessions over the past three decades.
Analysts fear that attacks on oil facilities in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and the threat of further disruptions will keep prices volatile for some time. They also say a pledge by the Saudis to boost production next month will have little immediate effect on pump prices in the United States.
The additional supplies will not reach this country until mid-July, after the demand for refineries to produce gasoline for the peak driving season has ended.