The good news is that higher gas prices are coming against backdrop of an improving economy.
This is logical — rapid demand growth = higher commodity prices = higher gas prices — but it hasn’t always been so.
Check out this chart from 2007.
The blue line is oil, and as you can see, it basically doubled from the beginning of the year, to 2008.
The red line is total employment growth. Momentum as collapsing.
Here’s the same point, but with the red line being initial claims. It was marching higher all year.
The key point, once again: The economy is a lot tougher than it was the last time we had a real, unexpected oil price boom. We’ll see if it makes a difference.