Friday, 15 March 2024 04:08

Gasoline Prices Expected to Rise

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Lower energy prices have provided some relief for consumers over the last few months. However, this could be changing with demand set to increase as we enter the start of driving season which is due to be exacerbated by refinery outages in many parts of the country.

 

Over the last month, gasoline prices are about 5% higher but still slightly down relative to last year at this point. Higher energy prices negatively impact consumer confidence and discretionary spending but also feed into inflationary pressures. In last month’s CPI report, higher energy prices was a major factor in the hotter than expected readings. Additionally, they have political implications given elections in November.

 

According to analysts, the situation is likely to get worse before its gets better. Gasoline inventories are lower than normal, following a 5.7 million barrels decline last week, and are now 3% below their average levels for this time of the year. Inventories could continue to be drained as refineries have been running below 87% capacity for the last 8 weeks. Adding to these issues is recent drone strikes on Russian refineries by Ukraine.


Finsum: Gasoline prices have been rising due to refinery issues. The situation is likely to get worse before it gets better as we enter summer driving season, and inventories have been drawn down more than expected. 

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