The major retail gasoline outlets -- SuperAmerica, BP, and Holiday -- raised the price of gasoline to $2.19 today. That's still way below what it was a year ago, of course, but it's still a 16-percent increase in the last week.
Apparently, it's the "optimism thing."
"With the outlook for risky and pro-growth assets continuing to improve (particularly as U.S. equity markets turn positive for the year), we are growing more constructive on energy markets," technical analysts at Barclays Capital told the Dow Jones Newswire. Translation: It's a good time to raise prices and make some dough.
The Associated Press also reported that easing fears about the flu also have contributed to higher prices.
Was last week the last time we'll see gasoline for under $2?
I happened to be buying diesel fuel at the Kwik Trip in Baldwin, WI this morning and overheard the staff talking about the five cent increase that was immediately pending. Then I got into the cities and noticed the 18 cent increase.
I find it quite interesting that outside the metro area the gas stations generally don't have the big spikes. Just watch for a few days, this is SA and Holiday's game, a big jump, then followed by small decreases (depending on the local competition). I'll hazard a guess that by the weekend most of the stations will be back down to the $2.06 range, essentially the nickel that their cost went up...