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Milton Ezrati of Lord AbbettGasoline prices have risen almost back to the highs seen last spring, although there’s been remarkably little coverage. Such a move will affect the economy, whether or not it’s noted in the headlines, especially if the higher prices stick. The experience last spring offers a model of what to expect. If the spike is short-lived, as it was then, the economy will show brief signs but quickly correct. If prices remain elevated for a period of months or rise farther, the pace of real economic growth, already anemic, will suffer. In time, the impact on general price levels could constrain the Federal Reserve’s ability to consider further monetary ease.

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