Comment on my December 9 prediction: A perfect CORRECT, as prices rose the next day to $1.99. We saw another reset (sort of) to $1.99 at the beginning of this week.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015, 3:30PM: Time to wrap up 2015. My “home station” to track prices in the Speedway on Lake Michigan Drive & Collindale Avenue, and in the first half of 2015, prices crept up until we got to $2.99 on June 11 and again on July 1 and on August 12. Then the bear market in energy really started to snarl, and we enjoyed falling prices the second half of the year. Sample prices: $2.24 on September 15, $2.17 on October 30, $1.99 on November 20, and our low of the year: $1.78 on December 1. Hard to complain about a 40% drop in retail prices in six months.
So, what to expect for 2016? This article is helpful, particularly the “Cumulative Average YTD Change” chart. It gives you a sense of what we’ve seen for years: prices tend to rise until about Memorial Day, get more volatile through Labor Day, and then decline into some point in December. Despite oil prices appearing to head to new lows this week, I suspect we’ll see the same trajectory in 2016, leading to prices typically over $2 come March or April. Short term, though, there is no sign of a hike in the air.