Katrina's Effect on Oil, US Economy
"The impact of Hurricane Katrina on U.S. oil production may be worse than initial reports estimated and could lead to a national gas crisis in the short run, analysts warned Tuesday.
"'The story is all about oil,' said Michael Englund, chief economist with Action Economics. 'This is still a fluid situation but we have enough information to feel comfortable lowering our economic growth estimate even further.'
"Consumers have been absorbing the sticker shock at the pump for months already without greatly altering their spending habits. However, analysts cautioned that if gas prices reach $3 a gallon, it could force consumers to make noticeable changes to their budgets. And if spending slows, that in turn threatens to dampen economic growth since consumer spending fuels two-thirds of the economy."
Thanks to Michael Dudley