This is How Inflation Happens

Comment on the February 28 prediction: That prediction was perfectly CORRECT, both in time and price. But, this slow-motion hike last week? Well, let’s discuss …

Sunday, March 10, 2024, 11 AM: Back in January, we noted that “looking back over my 2023 data, it seems that the retailers were somewhat successful sneaking in a margin boost when we were enjoying that significant drop in prices in August-September.” What that meant was that it appears that since last fall, retailers have been trying to squeeze out more revenue per gallon than in the past. Last month, it seems they backed off here in Michigan, and it would be nice to believe that our January posting contributed to that, but most likely not. But with last week’s hike, they were back to their new tricks. You could tell that something was problematic about the hike to $3.69 in Michigan, because it started at selected stations on Tuesday (thanks, Marathon) but didn’t kick in broadly until Thursday. I’m sure some of the station owners on Wednesday were looking at the landscape and thinking, “Do I hike to $3.69, or not bother?”

Meanwhile, oil prices have been vibrating around $77 a barrel since late January, so that isn’t putting pressure on gas prices, and the Whiting refinery in Indiana is opening back up soon. No, I think what is happening this time is our capitalistic grab for profits, and that’s often how we get inflation.  But, no further hike is on the horizon this week.

The antidote is competition, like what is happening at 44th and Kenowa in Grandville. -EA

Updated: March 10, 2024 — 10:49 am

11 Comments

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  1. Maybe it’s something to do with an increase in demand, we are nearing spring. But they could do an increase because it’s a day ending in”y”, sooooo…. Who knows?

  2. Higher wages need covered? Increased cost across the board, insurance, maintenance etc.

    Is GasBuddy down? No new price post for over 12 hours.

  3. It seems like Speedway stretched margins last year in spring and summer and then let them drop in the winter. At least in the Illinois market.

  4. Seeing some GPM stations in Indy area hiking to $3.599

  5. GetGo leading the pack in Anderson Indiana to $3.59
    Appears they want to pick up as lead price spiker around Central Indiana. All locations up chain wide and the second time I have seen this on GasBuddy.

  6. $3.59 in NW Indiana led by Family Express

  7. All other chains now going to $3.599 in Indy area

  8. South Bend IN spiking to $3.59 also led by Family Express. +.30-.40.
    SBN $3.28 avg yesterday. Costco $3.13. ND Speedway $3.26.

  9. GPM pushing a move to 3.759 at their locations (Admiral, Next Door etc). Anyone have an update on Whiting?

  10. I believe Whiting is down for another week

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