Friday, November 1, 2013

The corner station does a dead cat bounce off the floor

I made an observation and a prediction in Farnsworth is still yelling "Whee!"
About 5PM, I went out and saw that the corner station was at $3.24 and the three stations down the street were at $3.22.  Things have already gotten better, and the window of comparison is still open for another week.
If things go according to pattern, the corner station will match the rest at $3.22, which means that $3.19 is only three cents away.  Stay tuned.
I posted that overnight Friday into Saturday.  That day, the corner station matched the other neighborhood stations at $3.22, exactly as predicted.  That means that all the stations were a nickel below where they were last year.  That's where the good news for my predictions ended.

On Tuesday, the corner station jacked up its price for regular to $3.49.  It was still that high Wednesday morning, so I filled up at one of the stations down the street, which were all holding steady at $3.22.  By Thursday, the corner station dropped to $3.39.  The corner stations remained at $3.22.  This morning, the corner station dropped another dime to $3.29.  The corner stations were still selling for $3.22.  This afternoon, the corner station gave up and matched the rest at $3.22.  Welcome to another episode of the corner station charging into No Man's Land and giving up all the price territory within a week, just like it has again and again.

The corner station was not alone in raising its prices locally.  According to the GasBuddy widget at Econobrowser, the Detroit average bottomed out just above $3.25 on Monday, then rose to $3.29 on Wednesday before falling to $3.26 today.  As a result, the metro area's prices bumped over the slowly falling national average and then dropped below it again, managing to undercut the current U.S. mean of $3.27 and a fraction.  The Michigan average exaggerated the Detroit trend, peaking at $3.37 and falling to $3.34.

Gas prices are expected to continue falling until the end of the year, as MLive reported this week. Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan last week said he wouldn't be surprised to see prices fall even lower, perhaps under $3 a gallon by the Thanksgiving holiday and into December.
I'll wait until I see prices fall before posting Professor Farnsworth again.

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