Thursday, September 11, 2014

The parachute ride begins with fall gas prices

Since I wrote Bad and good news for gas prices over Labor Day weekend, my expectations that first the corner station, then all four neighborhood stations, would lower their prices after Labor Day were confirmed, although the corner station was not cooperative at first.  It did match the other three stations down the street for a day or two after Labor Day, but then promptly charged into No Man's Land by shooting its price up to $3.65 while the rest remained at $3.49.  By the weekend, it dropped down to $3.59, then $3.54  By Monday morning, it finally matched where the other three stations had been at $3.49.  By that time, it was already behind the curve, as the one station still open down the street (the other two were closed because of the power outage caused by the 10th worst storm in DTE history) had lowered their price to $3.45.  By the afternoon, the corner station had joined them.  As of Tuesday, the other two stations had their power restored and joined the rest at $3.45.

When I checked GasBuddy on Tuesday, the neighborhood stations were selling in line with their price history of being a dime below the metro average, which was $3.55 at the time.  In fact, the one station opened from Saturday through Monday was able to resist raising their prices, as the Detroit average shot up to $3.66 during that time.  The neighborhood stations are still selling at their usual discount, as the metro area mean has only gone down to $3.54.  I don't expect any more price drops this week.

By the way, the national average is the lowest it's been in 30 days, in fact, the lowest it's been since the end of February, at $3.42.  That should translate into lower prices in a week or two here should this trend continue.

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