08/02/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Are Consumers Getting Comfortable With High Gas Prices?

Americans appear to be concluding high energy prices are here to stay. The latest evidence: They view $4 gasoline as good news.

The latest consumer-confidence survey from the University of Michigan showed a "surprising" rise in confidence across the country, at all age and income levels. That coincided with a brief respite from skyrocketing oil costs. No matter, apparently, that oil's retreat merely put it back at prices that one year ago would have triggered cold sweats. Consumer confidence jumped from 56.4 in June to 61.2 in July.

That sounds promising--until you realize confidence in July 2007 was 90.4.

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