Drivers across the US are cringing as they pull up to the gas pump this busy holiday season. Drivers in many states are already paying at least $3 a gallon for regular and most analysts don’t predict any relief soon. That’s because crude oil has hovered between $83 and $89 a barrel since Thanksgiving, and the global demand for oil remains strong due to rapid growth in China and India.
Tom Kloza, publisher and chief oil analyst at OPIS, expects prices to fall during the winter and then begin to climb again. He has forecast prices between $3.25 and $3.75 a gallon from March to May, unless there is an unforeseen global economic issue. Pump prices could rise above $4 a gallon again in some states for the peak vehicle driving season, if oil prices continue to climb.
Business management firm PortiaGroup just released a study with data supplied by OPIS, showing the average U.S. household will spend about $305 on gasoline this December, up almost 14 percent from last December and 76 percent more than December 2008. Gasoline is taking a bigger chunk out of median household income this year: 7.4 percent, compared with 6.5 percent last year and 4.2 percent two years ago, according to the study.
The average for regular gasoline in the US was $2.98 a gallon on Monday, according to the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration. That’s roughly the the same as a week ago, and more than a dime higher than 30 days ago. Twelve months ago the average gas price was $2.59 a gallon.
This week average gas prices per gallon ranged from:
- $3.29 a gallon in San Francisco
- $2.72 Denver
- $3.17 Seattle
- $3.12 New York City
- $3.11 Chicago
- $3.09 Miami,
- $2.96 Cleveland
- $2.80 Houston
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For more info, go to Finance.yahoo.com.