According to a recent survey, gasoline costs in the U.S. have increased by almost 12 cents a gallon over the past three weeks. The price increase is held accountable, at least in part, on the rising price of crude oil in the North Sea. Those Middle Eastern tensions include threats by Iran to block vital shipping lanes, the higher cost of summer-grade fuel and a decreased refinery capacity. Another factor affecting the hike is increased gasoline consumption in developing nations, such as India and China. Consumer spending is necessary for the economy to improve and recover.