Thursday, October 17, 2013

The corner station advances three steps and retreats two

I made a bad decision at the end of My prediction for Saturday came true Tuesday.
In the meantime, my car's tank is full, but my wife's isn't.  Maybe I should top her tank off while gas is still relatively cheap.
Didn't bother.  If prices are going to drop, then I can wait.
Prices ended up increasing slightly instead.  First, the corner station jacked up its price from $3.37 to $3.59 on Monday while the three stations down the street held steady at $3.37.  Yesterday morning, the corner station had lowered its price to $3.49 while the three stations down the street had raised their prices to $3.45.  I had a good idea of what would happen next, which was that the corner station would match them.  The only question was when.  This evening, it had, lowering its price to $3.45.  The net result was that gas got more expensive, not less.  I should have filled up last week.

At least my weak prediction that prices would not increase by Saturday held true.
I wouldn't be surprised to see gas drop a few cents more by Saturday.  I also wouldn't be surprised to see no change, either.  I'll keep my readers posted either way.
Good thing I only forecast out to Saturday.

As for the local, regional, and national trend, the Gasbuddy widget over at Econobrowser shows that the national average price is slowly rising, having bottomed out at $3.37 a few days ago and then returned to $3.38, while both the Detroit and Michigan averages rose and then peaked.  The Detroit average peaked at $3.45 yesterday and is now at $3.44, while Michigan's hit $3.52 yesterday and is down to $3.51 today.  I don't expect gas prices to get any higher during the rest of this week.

The crude oil prices support this prediction.  While WTI has stayed just above $101/barrel, Brent Crude rose from $109.06 last week to $110.86 today.  It peaked a few days ago and then stalled out.  As long as the prices remain at those levels, gas should stay about where it is.

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