Gas prices headed lower
The Energy Department and AAA predict a drop this year, but they don't account for variables like storms or wars.
For perhaps the first time since the fiscal cliff debates began, the government has come up with an item whose price won't increase in 2013: gasoline.
Thanks to high supply and weakened demand, the average price per gallon should fall to 5% to $3.44, according to the Energy Department. That's still well above the dreaded $3-a-gallon mark and the third highest average fuel price ever, but it's 19 cents lower than last year's record $3.63 average.
It's also an average savings of $205 per household in 2013, which theoretically could put $25 billion back into other areas of the economy -- or, you know, into Americans' savings. That's assuming the Middle East doesn't flare up again, the hurricane season doesn't yield another Superstorm Sandy and the nation's refineries stay open and keep running at capacity.
It also ignores the expiration of last year's payroll tax deduction, which increases the Social Security levy from 4% to 6% this year and will cost households making $40,000 to $50,000 an extra $600 in 2013, according to the Tax Policy Center. Also, the Energy Department's recent history with this kind of prognostication has been spotty at best. In 2011, it predicted average gas prices around $3 just before Libya's revolution halted oil production and drove the national average to $3.53. Last year's prediction was $3.45, which also fell more than a little bit outside the mark.
AAA is steering away from the government annual average and, instead, is focusing on upcoming fluctuations in fuel prices. While AAA's average U.S. gas price sits at $3.31 per gallon, the motorist organization predicts that price could go as high as $3.80 this spring before dropping to $3.20 in mid-summer. That would be the lowest average gas price Americans have paid since February 2011, but may be short-lived depending on what hurricane season brings.
Of course, those prices are also still highly contingent upon where drivers live. Right now, drivers in Utah have the lowest gas prices at an average $2.88 a gallon, while New Yorkers are still dealing with Sandy's aftermath as they pay $3.75. One region's year of cheap gas could be another area's fuel crisis.
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"It's all b - - - s - - -, and it's bad fer ya "- - - - - George Carlin !
I remember paying .25 cents per gallon, and bread was not much more per loaf
. THANKS TO OUR GREEDY POLITICIANS EVERYTHING IS OUT OF PRICE
THEY BETTER LEAVE MY SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE ALONE
Blame speculators for high gas prices! Why can't the government just make it illegal?
Why can't the government make speculation illegal (or at least regulate it back to sanity)? Simple answer! GOPCon.
This is Barry Obama's no-growth economy. The price of gasoline will drop due to a lack of demand for the supply so we will continue to export petrol products like never before.
mmm, mmm, mmm. Just print mo' money - and, welcome to Obamaville.
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Precious metals gained some steam in the early hours of electronic ... More
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