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.

Dayton Daily News - - FRONT PAGE -

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 Gas­, which runs Day­tonGasPric­, 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.

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