Monday, February 16, 2015

Are Consumers Being Duped By Gasoline Industry?

Average retail gasoline prices in Florida have risen 11.5 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.31/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 8,237 gas outlets in Florida. This compares with the national average that has increased 7.6 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.25/g.

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were 107.2 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 15.4 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 17.5 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 110.2 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

“Prices at the pump are starting to heat back up, mostly driven by a rebound in crude oil prices," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy. "Nationally, almost 9 in 10 stations is selling over $2/gal, while a month ago, less than half of stations were selling over that price- clearly we're seeing the typical seasonal rebound in prices, being led higher by oil's rebound, and soon to be enhanced further by refinery maintenance season- which hasn't yet gotten well underway. Motorists in California are getting a taste of the sourness that will hit across the country in a month or two as Los Angeles switches over to cleaner burning gasoline, followed by San Fransisco in short order, with the rest of the nation making moves in the weeks and months ahead. I'm also starting to hear more frustration from motorists about rising prices- and while the concerns are well rooted, they should take solace that gas prices this summer are still expected to be some $1/gal lower than last summer," DeHaan said.

California, Arizona, Oregon, Florida, and Washington saw the largest increases in the last week- all saw increases over 10c/gal. The nation's cheapest 5% of stations were sellingSunday at $1.92/gal, a jump from last month's $1.68/gal. Idaho Falls, ID enjoyed the lowest gas prices, averaging $1.77/gal, while Kahului, HI saw the only average over $3/gal: $3.13/gal. Excluding Hawaii and Alaska, California cities took all 25 spots of the top 25 most expensive communities.

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