Month: December 2014

Santa Says Enough’s Enough

Comment on the November 30 prediction:  Technically, I might not have been CORRECT, as I am not sure we got to $2.50 by November 7, but it was $2.41 in Lowell on November 8, and under $2 today, so … CORRECT-ish.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 2:30PM:  How do you like them prices?  Santa often brings gas price presents in December, but this year it is a big red bag of lower prices.  But let’s look at some history.  I re-set my spreadsheets on May 1 each year (due to the academic calendar), and here are the dates of the lowest prices I recorded the past several years in the May 1-April 30 period:

2013-14:  December 4, $3.03
2012-13:  December 19, $3.09
2011-12:  December 20, $3.12
2010-11:  July 13, $2.58 ($2.85 in December, and higher in January)
2009-10:  May 4, $2.13 ($2.32 in December, and higher in January)

The last three years, retail prices bottomed out in December, and then rose during the first few months of the new year.  This dynamic also occurred earlier in the last decade, and we saw a short-term low in December 2009 and 2010.  There are a number of reasons for this, including the different way gas is manufactured for the summer months, but the point today is that these sub-$2 prices are probably not going to last for long.  Today, energy prices are rising for the first time in a while (see, for example, the price of UGA, the ETF for gasoline), and that usually means that the retailers will look to re-set their prices.  So, I’m expecting a price hike by the end of the week.  $2.39?  After Christmas, I expect we’ll start to see prices climbing slowly through winter, as it usually does. — Ed A.

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