Or at least, not the unremittingly bad news that they would appear to be from stories like this:
Gas prices 'sucking energy' out of Canadian households: The long upward march in gas prices since late 2010, which has helped keep Canada's resource-based economy chugging, is also equivalent to a 7% hike on the income tax bills of Canadians in 2011, a CIBC World Markets report said Monday.
This will impair consumer consumption growth rates, bad news for Canada’s retail sector, Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at the CIBC, said in the report.
"As a share of disposable income, spending on gasoline is now estimated to be less than half a percentage point shy of the peak seen in 2008, and it has already reached that peak when measured relative to total retail sales," Mr. Tal said.
Very grim news, until you start asking yourself "So where is all that money going?" The answer is - to a rough approximation - to Canadians. Moreover, a measurable chunk of the extra money US households are paying for gasoline is also going to Canadians.
Higher gasoline prices are part of a relative price shift. Gasoline prices are going up, but other prices are going down. The net effect on Canadians' purchasing power is generally positive - except perhaps for those whose gasoline expenditure shares are larger than average.