Yes, we've avoided them for a while, but high gas prices have become a major hot button again. With Israel's attack on Lebanon last week, oil prices hit a record $78.40 per barrel before settling in at $77.03 -- still very high, and probably a hint of what's to come. Analysts predict that if Iran, which supports Hezbollah, gets pulled into the mess, we can expect the price to spike into the triple digits. Remember when Bob Lutz predicted that crude oil prices would settle back in in the low-mid $50s? Well, he was a little off.

On account of high oil prices, the cost for a gallon of gasoline is up sharply again, as well. Last week it rose to $2.973/gallon across the United States. That's about $.04/gallon above the week prior and $.65/gallon more than a year ago.

The development will likely further affect the purchasing decisions of car buyers, elevating the popularity of small, fuel-efficient vehicles such as the Honda Fit, SMART, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris.

[Source: Ottawa Citizen]

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