BUT IS THERE AN END IN SIGHT?
As warning signs litter the American economic landscape, the price of fuel continues to rise … threatening to add further strain to a consumer economy already groaning under the weight of perpetual sluggishness.
According to the AAA daily fuel gauge report, the average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the United States is currently $2.28. That’s up seventeen cents (eight percent) from last month – and up a whopping fifty-seven cents (33.3 percent) from it low of $1.71 back in February.
Here in South Carolina, the average currently stands at $2.05. Once again, that’s the lowest price available anywhere in the country – although it’s up sixteen cents (or 11.6 percent) from our last check-in and up fifty-eight cents (37.9 percent) from its low of $1.53 just three months ago.
Also, cheap gas is of little consolation to our dirt poor citizens – who pay a disproportionately higher percentage of their income due to their anemic incomes.
Anyway, for those of you visually-inclined, take a look at this chart …
(Click to enlarge)
(Chart via AAA)
Gas prices generally rise during warmer months as demand increases, although at this point they remain well below last year’s levels ($2.68 nationally and $2.38 here in South Carolina).
Also there is speculation that the recent surge – a spike not seen since 2009 – could be a fleeting phenomenon.
“There may be a peak hit in the next few weeks as refiners finish remaining maintenance and crank up production,” the website Gas Buddy noted. “GasBuddy expects the national average (to) be $2.29/gallon on Memorial Day and peak in the $2.30s in early June before declining and spending much of the summer in the low $2 per gallon range.”
That’s good … although as we’ve long noted low gas prices don’t translate into expanded consumerism (especially with those pesky Obamacare mandates hanging out there).
What are gas prices like in your area? Post your latest experience at the pump in our comments section below … …