Calculated Risk discusses problems with certain reports concerning per centage of GDP being reported for energy costs as unrealistic, predicting real per centages to be as high as 14% of GDP if prices stay the same or rise.
There is a human side to the increase a few months from now that will possibly be of greater concern than high gas prices.
The Boston Globe notes an upcoming problem for the Northeast home heating season. I have seen oil for $4.80 plus a gallon, up about $2.00 a gallon from last year. Assuming similar degree days from last season January (08) could mean an increase of 40% in the seasons heating bill.
Assuming the very warm winter of January 07, it would not be so bad when we had plants like forsythia blooming in January in the Boston area. Then again, a different winter such as January 06 saw 30 days of continuous 0 degree temperatures in January, so 40% would be a conservative estimate.