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Rising Gas Prices Affecting Local Businesses

BOSTON (CBS) - Turmoil in the Middle East is affecting us here at home every time we fill up. Oil and gas prices are climbing, and many businesses are feeling a trickle down effect.

Coastal Capital Group's David Caruso says, "Gasoline and oil prices are like attacks on us and it weighs us down." When we hit barriers, like a fifty or sixty dollar fill up, it affects how we spend and invest."

Caruso says every time gas goes up by 1 cent, it drains one and a half billion dollars form the economy

WBZ-TV's Karen Anderson reports.

Caruso says if prices keep going up, people will be aware of what's happening, and they'll pull back. "That will impact the economy," Caruso says. He explains that gas is a big budget item for many families, and it affects people's psyches and spending.

Restaurants like The Wardhurt Grille in Salem are already feeling the trickle down effect. Donna Dzielnik says, "We've noticed lunch crowd decreasing rapidly. Everyone is keeping an eye on their pocket. You have to spend money on gas, where as you don't have to spend money on clothing or going out to restaurants."

Read: Fuel-efficient car sales on the way up

While oil prices are climbing, we're still far from the record highs when the recession hit. In July of 2008, oil cost $145 a barrel and gas prices were above $4. Right now oil is hovering around 100 dollars, and at the pumps we're paying on average $3.20 a gallon.

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