SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Average gas prices have been on a downward trend, though the Middle East conflict has raised concerns over a spike in oil costs. Oil and natural gas prices have already been impacted by this weekend’s unprecedented attack on Israel. How much and how long though, depends on if the conflict expands.
As the death toll climbs amid a war between Israel and Palestine, concerns over international impact is mounting.
“I think the first and foremost would be oil, then after that will be sort of the reverberations throughout the rest of the market,” said Mark Teed, Senior Vice President at Raymond James & Associates.
Stock indexes rebounded Monday afternoon from early losses, though crude oil prices in the U.S. soared from $3.59 a barrel to $86.38. For perspective, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, oil prices spiked, exceeding $120 a barrel.
According to GasBuddy, the national average price of gasoline fell 10.2 cents per gallon in the last week. In Springfield, prices have gone down 6.1 cents in the same time period.
Experts say a prolonged impact to oil prices depends on how the conflict progresses, and if it spreads to major oil producing areas like Iran.
“We’re going to see it unfortunately. The average person is going to pay the price for it. It’s really too bad what’s going on over there but that’s been a hot bed for thousands of years. This hate, animosity has been going on since almost day one,” said John Vennard of Springfield.
The ongoing economic impact depends largely on how long the war lasts. If it’s short lived, it may not be significant.