From the L.A. Times:

Consumers are already seeing the fallout from turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa every time they fill their gas tanks. It's what they don't see that's the bigger worry for the U.S. economy.

From the farm to the factory, businesses are facing higher costs to grow the nation's food, ship goods and manufacture products at a time when they're already cautious about hiring new employees or placing big orders. The added burden of sustained fuel price increases could slow the nation's already sluggish economic growth, analysts said.

As the revolt in Libya escalated Wednesday, U.S. benchmark crude cracked $100 a barrel in futures trading before closing at $98.10. That was up $2.68 a barrel from the day before. And it's up about $13, or 15 percent, a barrel from one week ago.

For more, see: Rising fuel prices could cramp economic recovery