Higher fuel prices may steal holiday cheer from U.S. retailers

NOEL RANDEWICH | September 17, 2019

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U.S. retailers already reeling from the U.S.-China trade war and an uncertain economic picture now have something else to fret about this holiday season - higher fuel prices. A surge in energy prices after weekend attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities has raised the specter of more expensive gasoline for U.S. consumers and steeper shipping costs for retailers, just as the crucial holiday shopping period approaches. While oil prices partly recovered on Tuesday after a Saudi official told Reuters that production could recover within weeks, the possibility of an escalating Middle East crisis and prolonged higher energy prices has emerged just as Amazon.com Inc steps up competition with free one-day shipping.

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