NEW YORK — Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson said Wednesday he doesn't think the recent jump in oil prices is hurting the U.S. economy — at least, not yet.
The head of the world's largest publicly traded oil company said that in 2008, when oil surged to near $150 per barrel, Americans didn't change their driving and spending habits until gasoline prices topped $4 per gallon. Gas peaked at $4.11 in July of that year.
"I don't know if that tip-over is still at the same $4 level or not," Tillerson told reporters at the New York Stock Exchange. "We'll see."
Oil is now about $104 per barrel after rising more than 20 percent over three weeks because of civil unrest in Libya. Tillerson hasn't seen any reduction in the demand for fuel from consumers or businesses.
The national average for gas has increased 40 cents to $3.52 per gallon at the same time.