Including the change in gas prices in Missouri during the past week, prices yesterday were 18.4 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 0.4 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 6.1 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 20.0 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.
Last week we saw oil prices surpass $87 per barrel after the Federal Reserve announced a $600 billion injection into the U.S. economy, causing the U.S. dollar to lose value, thereby pressuring oil and gasoline prices higher. In addition to the Fed's actions, a Department of Energy report indicated another drop in U.S. supplies against rising demand. Also areas of the Midwest were affected by a fire at a Chicago area refinery, sending pump prices in some of those areas above $3/gallon for the first time in 25 months. With oil prices breaking out of their well established $75-$85/barrel range, I'm quite concerned we could see prices trade in a higher range, perhaps $85-$95/barrel for several months, signaling higher gasoline prices in the future.
GasBuddy.com operates over 200 live gasoline price-tracking websites, including MissouriGasPrices.com. GasBuddy.com was named one of Time magazine's 50 best websites and the 100 most useful websites of 2008, according to PC World.
This commentary is by Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com