Monday, January 11, 2010


Gas Prices On The Rise

Cheap gasoline is disappearing. Gas prices have risen 41 days in a row, to a national average of almost $2.62 a gallon. That is a sharp increase from the low of $1.62 a gallon we saw late last year. Refinery problems are producing especially high prices in the Midwest.

Michigan, the state with the highest unemployment rate, at 12.9 percent, is now paying the highest gasoline prices, averaging $2.93 a gallon. As of yesterday, Monday, the lowest pump price in Pikeville for Regular Unleaded was $2.68 a gallon at the Speedway on the South Mayo Trail. After increasing 62 percent since December, the price of gasoline is actually lagging behind the increase in the price of oil, which has doubled in the same period.

Analysts say the increase is being driven by investor expectations of an economic recovery, the recent fall of the dollar against other currencies and, to a lesser extent, the success of oil-exporting countries in curtailing supplies. Prices remain well below those of last summer, when the national average for regular gasoline soared above $4, but economists say the recent gains are a growing economic problem and may signal a rise in the overall inflation rate.

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