A cyberattack by an unnamed criminal group temporarily halted Colonial Pipeline, a major U.S. pipeline carrying 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel supplies.1 While prices have only climbed three cents on average across the nation as of May 12, another practical concern is reports of closed pumps and long lines.2
While this situation is alarming and has a number of short-term consequences, it’s important to remember that the attack has mainly affected the computer systems used to transport the fuel. The actual pipelines themselves are still functional and, as workarounds come into play, the flow of gasoline will return to its normal rate.
That said, it’s also important to remember that, for many Americans, a year of pandemic life is over or nearing the end. Nicer weather is a factor, too. This could point to an energy sector that hasn’t correctly timed the inevitable increase in demand once things returned to something like normal.
Whatever lies ahead, it’s important to remember that, while these might be difficult matters for the household, they do not necessarily reflect the economy as a whole. Your economic strategy factors information like rising prices, so it’s important not to let certain events distract you from the bigger picture. This will pass.