Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Business

February 16, 2014

on the rise

Noticeable spikes expected in gasoline prices

NEW YORK — Drivers, here’s the bad news: You’ll be paying more for gasoline in the coming weeks.

The good news: You’ll likely pay less than last year. Or the year before, or the year before that.

The price of gasoline held steady into early February, but an increase is almost inevitable this time of year. Pump prices have gone up an average 31 cents per gallon in February over the past three years. And although this year’s rise might not reach the heights of years past, there are reasons for drivers in some regions — like the Northeast — to worry about a painful spike.

“We’re going to get increases and they are going to be noticeable,” says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at Gasbuddy.com and the Oil Price Information Service. “We’re going to get that pop relatively soon.”

The price of crude oil has risen 8 percent over the past month, to $100 per barrel. And analysts expect fuel supplies to begin to decline as refineries dial back production to perform maintenance and make the switch to summer fuels.

Gasoline prices are already creeping higher. The nationwide average price rose for seven days in a row last week to $3.34 per gallon, the highest level since October, according to AAA, OPIS and Wright Express. California, Connecticut and New York drivers are paying an average of $3.65 or more, the most in the lower 48 states. Montana and South Carolina drivers are paying $3.10 or less.

But the nationwide average is not expected to quite reach its high point of last year of $3.79 per gallon, set February 27, never mind the highs of $3.94 in 2012 and $3.98 in 2011. AAA predicts a peak of between $3.55 and $3.75 per gallon.

Gasoline prices are 8 percent lower than last year at this time, even though crude oil prices are about the same, in part because gasoline supplies are plentiful. Refiners have kept operations humming to meet increased demand for heating oil during the frigid winter, and have produced more gasoline as a result. But the stormy weather has left cars buried under snow, where they don’t use much gasoline.

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Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
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