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Fuel Prices Likely to Hold Steady this Year

But that doesn’t ease the pain as prices spike early and hard.

by on Feb.22, 2013

Fuel prices are up in an unusually early spike, but federal analysts predict things will level off at the pump for the rest of 2013.

Gas prices have taken some big jumps in recent weeks, rising an average of about 45 cents since this time last month.  There are pumps now pushing past the $5 mark in parts of Southern California, and some speculators are betting the traditional, seasonal spikes could come earlier and faster than normal, with fuel reaching record levels in 2013.

Don’t count the folks at the U.S. Energy Department among them. If anything, the DoE actually anticipates gasoline prices for 2013 will hold flat or even slip a bit, despite recent spikes blamed on speculation and refinery closings.

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There are already some signs traders fear they have over-stretched. And the slow and uncertain pace of the economic recovery – along with continuing economic issues in Europe and China – may ease demand that would otherwise drive up petro-speculation.


It’s Driving Season. Why are Gas Prices Tumbling?

After spring run-up, U.S. motorists are catching an unexpected break at the pump.

by on May.30, 2012

Fuel prices have tumbled 27 cents a gallon since their early April peak and the trend is downward.

It wasn’t all that long ago that American motorists were being greeted with shrill headlines forecasting $4, even $5-a-gallon gas by summer.

It certainly seemed plausible after the rapid run-up during late winter and early spring, prices at the pump coming within pennies of the all-time record set back in July 2008.  But a funny thing happened just as the traditional driving season approached: fuel prices began to tumble and the downward trend may well continue through the summer.

Over the Memorial Day holiday various tracking services showed that fuel prices dipped to around $3.65 a gallon, about 27 cents lower than their national peak in early April.

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“Had you asked me back in January if the national average would have been that low on Memorial Day, I likely would have chuckled,” said Patrick DeHaan, a senior analyst with  Looking forward, he told, “prices could go either way,” depending upon a variety of factors, though for now, the trend appears to be downward.

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Oil Prices Plunge – and Could Bring Relief at the Pump

Threat of new global recession and lowered demand.

by on Aug.05, 2011

Crude oil prices have plunged but it remains to be seen how fast consumers will reap the benefit.

You may be out of work but at least you may be able to save money when you fill up the tank to drive to your next job interview.

Crude prices continued to slip on Friday, with some markets slipping to barely $86 a barrel from the year’s $115 peak set in May.  That reflects increasing jitters about the economy both here and abroad – such fears driving Wall Street traders into a frenzy, on Thursday, with a 512-point fall on the Dow Jones Index, the ninth-worst ever.

For the oil industry, the possibility of a double-dip recession raises concerns about demand for petroleum, both for manufacturing and for transportation purposes.  With the U.S. economy stuck in the doldrums there has been a steady decline, in recent months in the number of miles American motorists have been clocking.

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Declining oil prices don’t always – or immediately — result in lower payments at the pump, though industry analysts say that wholesale prices – what gasoline retailers are charged – have dipped by as much as a dime in recent weeks.