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Summer 2011 On $4 A Gallon

With regular unleaded around the $4 mark, we look at life in a summer of high gas prices.

Costco customers fill up at a gas station as others wait in line in Santa Clara, Calif., Friday. (AP)

Costco customers fill up at a gas station as others wait in line in Santa Clara, Calif., Friday. (AP)

$4 a gallon gas can really get your attention. $70-80 for a full tank. For a lot of people, that’s a full day’s wages.

And now comes summer. Vacation time. Travel time. And in a summer when the economy has been sputtering again — partly over gas prices.

Now, those prices may go down this summer. But they’ve already drawn a lot of attention. Smaller cars are selling. Destination travel is hurting. Inflatable pools and backyard fire pits are selling. And there are legal charges of price manipulation.

This hour On Point: life in the summer of high gas.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Ben Lefebvre, energy reporter for Dow Jones Newswires.

Kevin G. Hall, national economics correspondent for the McClathy newspapers.

Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial. Named one of the top forecasters in the country by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the most accurate economic forecasters by MSNBC. She is author of, “The Passionate Economist: Finding the Power and Humanity Behind the Numbers.”

Shane Norton, senior consultant in travel and tourism for IHS-Global Insight. He is the lead author of the AAA-commissioned study on Memorial Day travel just out last week. His firm produces five holiday travel studies per year for AAA.

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