Economists say higher gas prices could weaken consumer spending on LI

Analysts are worried strained relationships with Iran and Nigeria could send gas prices through the roof.

Oil prices are near $70 a barrel and gasoline is up 12 cents this month, and economists are worried prices could go even higher. According to economist Irwin Kellner, of North Fork Bank, if it?s a cold winter, oil may hit $80-90 a barrel and gasoline surpassing peaks of last September.

And economists say higher gas prices could weaken consumer spending on the Island. Bob Harrington, of Tracy Lynn Sports, has noticed sales are down a bit.

Some are also concerned how this could affect LIPA's recent rate freeze. Chairman Richard Kessel says he plans to make good on the rate freeze promise as long as there are no "catastrophic international events."

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