Last week, we took a look in this space at rising fuel prices and considered how prices, particularly those of gasoline, had the potential to snatch dollars from consumers' pockets that otherwise could be spent at retail. Unfortunately, the news continued to be bad last week. The price of a barrel of oil topped the $40-mark, a level not seen for 13 years. Petroleum prices continued to react to jitters about the reliability of supply, a situation made worse by an attack in Iraq that reduced ...

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