Gasoline tops $3, will likely go higher
Local motorists could be paying $3.75 a gallon by March if oil prices continue to increase, analysts say.
Staff and wire report
DAYTON — Some area motorists saw retail gasoline prices reach $3.05 a gallon on Monday, and a new study finds the average U.S. household will spend nearly 14 percent more on gasoline this month than last December.
Oil industry analyst Tom Kloza on Monday projected that gas prices will rise to between $3.25 and $3.75 a gallon from March to May, barring an unforeseen global economic issue. Pump prices could rise above $4 again in some states for the peak driving season, if oil prices continue to climb, Kloza said.
The last time the area saw gas prices over $3 was Oct. 8, 2008, according to Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com, which runs DaytonGasPrices.com, a local gas price monitoring website.
Wholesale gas prices will determine whether area residents will continue to sees retail gas prices at $3 or more a gallon during the holiday weekend, DeHaan said. If wholesale prices drop, so will retail gas prices, DeHaan said.
“The average retail gas price in the Dayton-area has never been higher than $3 a gallon on Christmas Day,” DeHaan said.
A new study from business management firm PortiaGroup finds the average U.S. household will spend about $305 on gas this month, up almost 14 percent from December 2008. Gas also is taking a bigger bite of median household income this year: 7.4 percent, compared with 6.5 percent last year and 4.2 percent two years ago, the study says.
AAA is predicting that 92.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this holiday season, up 3.1 percent from the same time last year.