When will gas prices stop rising?
Some analysts are puzzled by the increase, and one says the national average could easily top $4 a gallon this spring.
The start of 2013 has been tough for consumers. Many saw a chunk missing from their take-home pay when payroll taxes increased. Now they're getting hit at the gas pump, with fuel prices climbing by nearly 14% since Jan. 1 to an average $3.75 a gallon.
What's behind the jump? Refinery shutdowns are leading "to tighter supply, which also has driven up prices," a spokeswoman for AAA told The Wall Street Journal.
Hess (HES) is shutting down its Port Reading, N.J., refinery, while other refineries have reduced supply because of planned repairs. Refineries often use winter for maintenance, given historically lower demand for gasoline as drivers cut back in poor weather, the Journal notes.
There's one trend analysts are agreeing on: Prices aren't likely to reverse direction anytime soon.
"Traditionally, gas prices rise anywhere from 40 to 60 cents a gallon in late March through early May," GasBuddy.com oil analyst Patrick DeHaan told the New York Post. He says if that happens this year, "it will easily send the national average over $4 a gallon."
That's already a reality in some areas. Residents in Southern California are paying the highest prices in the country, with Santa Barbara drivers paying an average of $4.32 a gallon, according to GasBuddy.com. The cheapest gas is found in Billings, Mt. -- a hub for state's oil boom -- where a gallon sells for an average of $3.17.
Some consumers are paying even more: A few locations have reported gas prices of more than $5 per gallon. One station in Los Angeles on Monday was selling regular unleaded for $5.19 a gallon.
At that price, a car with a 17-gallon tank would require more than $88 to fill up. With big bucks flowing into gas tanks, it's possible that consumers will look to cut back in other areas -- and that could create a challenge for the stock market and the U.S. economic recovery.
More on moneyNOW
Nothing like a little expense to bring the Troll Aid Drinkers out.. WWRD, first of all he wouldn't give a crap about what you think. No! That would br second, First would be lining the pockets of his friends, than he would do what I said first. You would be singing his praises while he is screwing you and not even having the common curtisy to give you a reach around!! Someone had the bright idea of bringing up Bush, Where is your Hero? Finding him is like trying to find Waldo. The first X-President that is in hiding.What other President that left office has went into playing Hide and Seek?
As for these Fuel Companies, Closing a Refinery for upgrading and Maintainance is one thing. Closing more than one is playing an ENRON (prople in CA remembers this band of outlaws) Game. All you Trolls just want to jump on the President when you should be approaching your Senators and asking why they close one Refinery at a time to keep the cost of fuel down to the Consummer.
Oh man, your Sippy Cup is getting low, here let me refill it with Troll Aid for you.
You might remember approximately 2 months before the presidential election gas prices started a significant downward swing.
Now, shortly after Obama’s inauguration…Ya gotta wonder if our president truly has our countries best interests in mind.
We have overloaded the cart pulled by that blind mule that we call our government. Whenever your congress people come to town ask them the hard questions and insist on results. If they won't show up or don't live in your state anymore (like Harry Reid), write and call. But whatever you do, don't vote for them again.
Something needs to be done about federal and state taxes on gasoline. Federal sales tax on gasoline is currently 18.4 cents per gallon for unleaded and 24 cents per gallon for diesel. State taxes vary, but on average run about 48.8 cents per gallon for gasoline and 54.4 cents per gallon for diesel. This includes the 18.4 cents per gallon federal tax.
That means if you fill up a small sedan, which holds around 14 gallons, you are giving between $6.83 and $7.62 to uncle sam!
And that is before you factor in the actual cost of gasoline. Bottom Line: Fuel Taxes need to go down.
When you control SUPPLY AND DEMAND and are totally unregulated and untouchable the price will never go down. The only ones that could do anything about it the oil companies are making them filthy rich so the only conclusion is......... WE ARE SCREWED!!
Everyone could drive Mopeds and you would still not be able to afford filling it up. They will get their profit margin if it goes to 20+ a gallon to get it.
I guess prez and family really thought they deserved that nice long weekend of golf and skiing at the tax payers expense while we can barely afford to put gas in our vehicles and food on the table.
It is a really sweet racket the government has going up there, would love to see that expense report.
I guess that cutting spending in government doesn't include their expense account............GO FIGURE!!!!!!!!!
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 (-0.1%) continues hovering right below its flat line with heavily-weighted sectors like financials (-0.2%), industrials (-0.1%), and technology (-0.5%) pressuring the broader market.
On the upside, countercyclical telecom services (+0.6%) and utilities (+0.7%) sport solid gains, but the two groups carry little influence over the broader market since they represent just 5.4% of the entire S&P 500. Meanwhile, the top-weighted sector-technology-accounts ... More
More Market News
The expected $3.36 billion offering from Citizens Financial Group won't come close to Alibaba's, but it will be an important one for the market.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'