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Pain at the pump continues to grow

February 23, 2013
By MIKE MUKLEWICZ - Times Leader Staff Writer , Times Leader

Residents from around the state are feeling the effects of the economic woes in regards to crude oil prices. On average as of Sunday, Ohio was an even nickel above the national average of $3.75 according to statistics surveyed by AAA. In Ohio, the average price increase topped 15 cents higher than just a week ago. In the past month, the United States national average has risen almost a half dollar at 45 cents, steepening the uphill battle for consumers to get back on top of their finances.

Since January 17th, gas prices have increased consecutively every day up until Feb. 20th, according to AAA.

This is the highest prices the country and state have seen since October of last year.

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AS?GAS?prices locally continue to creep toward the $4 per gallon mark, Ohio Valley residents can take solace that the sticker shock isn’t rivaling that of California residents, who are drawer closer and closer to the $5 per gallon range.

The worst part of the gas debacle has been the stock market correlating right alongside gas prices. As prices rise, volatility and investor caution increases as well. Increasing operating expenses hinder quarterly projections in times where fuel costs breach a certain barrier.

Precarious markets can be seen in parallels in charts when paired with the average gas price across the country. It has even reached the point for car dealers to charge for test drives due to the rising cost. Dealers across Ohio and other parts of the country have buyers pay $5-20, so they don't put themselves in a hole before even selling their products or have consumers joy-riding to save their own gas.

Natural gas prices are set to increase in the upcoming week or two as colder weather will be starting to move out of most of the regions of he country driving down demand thus increasing prices.

The root cause behind the gas issues are actually due to higher refinery margins, which is the gap between the cost of crude oil barrels and barrels of refined product which have widened since the beginning of the year.

The negative and gloomy words from suppliers though is that wholesale gas prices have increased much quicker than retail gas prices have. This means over the next week or two, the end customers price will continue to rise as it catches up with the wholesale prices.

Muklewicz may be reached at mmuklewicz@timesleaderonline.com

 
 

 

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