Average gasoline prices top $3.63 a gallon
Rising demand and Middle East worries have pushed prices up 14 cents a gallon in just a week. When can we expect a break?
That pump prices are rising shouldn't surprise. Turmoil in the Middle East has allowed many a trader to bid futures prices for crude oil and for gasoline higher in New York and London.
Add to that more domestic demand, and you have a recipe for prices to push higher -- and high enough that two thirds of the increase in the consumer price index in June was gas-price related. The question now is when prices will break. Yes, break, because the history of gasoline prices since at least 2000 strongly suggests that prices will break, possibly before Labor Day.
AAA's daily average price was $3.635 a gallon on Tuesday, up 2.2 cents from $3.613 on Monday and up 14 cents, or 4.6%, from $3.474 on July 8. In three states -- Alaska, Hawaii and California -- the price is above $4 a gallon. The lowest prices appear to be in South Carolina, Mississippi and Tennessee.
Now, let's be frank: $3.635 a gallon isn't fun, but things could be worse. The 2013 high was $3.786, set Feb. 27. And AAA's highest average price was $4.1144, set on July 17, 2008. Gasoline started the year at $3.29 a gallon. After the Feb. 27 peak, the price fell to $3.05 on April 28. After a second rally to $3.66 a gallon on May 22, price fell again to $3.474 right at the July 4 holiday.
Gasoline prices are important to watch because they affect your wallet. If prices are rising, you may not drive from, say, Atlanta to Harbor Springs, Mich., for a vacation. Or you'll buy the less-expensive brand of microwave popcorn.
At the same time, rising gasoline prices have proved time and again to be a terrible psychological weight on consumer spending. In 2008, those sky-high gasoline prices slammed sales of homes in the far suburbs of most big metro areas.
They crushed the automobile industry. Didn't matter if the automaker was domestically-based or based outside the United States.
The annualized monthly sales rate dropped 56% from a record 20.6 million units in July 2005 to a 9.02-million-unit rate in 2009. The rate was 15.89 million in June.
Crude oil in New York has been climbing steadily since bottoming at $91.03 on May 1. It settled at $106.32 a barrel on Monday, up 17% since May 1 and up 15.8% this year. Brent crude, the benchmark North Sea oil, is up 8.1% since bottoming at $99.95 a barrel on May 1.
More from MSN Money:
Mr. Do Nothing in Washington will do just that "NOTHING" as long as his buddies get rich from the inflated gas prices. After all what does he care he doesn't have to pay for it.
Just another example why he should be impeached along with a total government overhaul.
What is wrong with the American tax payer, they haven't got the guts to stand up to these idiots that constantly take advantage of us. WE ARE A NATION OF SHEEP !
Then there is foreign aid; the idiots can't take care of our own needy citizens but give billions away to foreign countries that thumb their noses at us anyway. ARE THESE IDIOTS BLIND ?
The answer is plain & simple...rip us off as often as possible and while the USA is pumping millions of our OWN barrels we ship this out of the country. Folks, bend over as we are getting screwed & our elected officials in WASHINGTON don't give a $hit about us.
The best government money can buy!
Besides calling and writing our representatives in Washington that don't care or just pay lip service to you, if you get a response at all. There isn't much else we can do. Except (comment deleted by NSA)
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.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Are you being stalked behind the wheel? Here's how to tell and what you can do about it.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
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'