Gas prices to be higher than expected


Wire and staff report

First it was a tax hike. Now consumers are looking at a higher than expected gasoline bill for 2013.

The government on Tuesday boosted its forecast for gasoline prices this year by 11 cents to an average of $3.55 a gallon. That would be the second-highest annual average ever, behind last year’s $3.63 a gallon.

The move comes at a time when area gas prices have been rising. On Tueasday, they were at their the highest level since early October.

The revised forecast follows a more than 10 percent increase in gas prices since the middle of December. The Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, says the average gas price jumped from $3.25 on Dec. 17 to $3.61 Monday.

In its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook, the EIA primarily pins the increase on higher oil prices. Brent crude, the benchmark for many international varieties of oil imported to the U.S., rose from $109 a barrel in mid-December to about $119 in early February. That $10 increase equates to about 24 cents per gallon of gas, the EIA says. U.S. benchmark crude rose $8 a barrel, to nearly $96 in the same time frame.

Consumers are already feeling a pinch from higher taxes. The expiration of last year’s payroll tax reduction will cost an extra $579 for households making $40,000 to $50,000 in 2013, according to the Tax Policy Center, a non-partisan Washington research group.

Still, there is some good news: The government expects oil prices to drop because of increased production in countries outside of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. For instance, crude oil production in the U.S. is expected to grow 13 percent to 7.25 million barrels a day this year.

As a result, the government says, gas should peak at an average $3.73 a gallon in May, 21 cents below last year’s high of $3.94 in early April.

In Southwest Ohio, the average price of regular-grade gas on Tuesday reached $3.72 per gallon, according to DaytonGasPrices.com, a web-based service that uses spotters to track area gas prices. That’s up 5 cents from Monday’s average price and 50 cents from a month ago, according to the website.

The national average of as Tuesday morning was $3.57 a gallon, according to the website.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Defense bill to benefit Springfield airport, drone research
Defense bill to benefit Springfield airport, drone research

An amendment included in a recent $700 billion defense authorization bill is expected to encourage more cooperation between the military and Federal Aviation Administration, including for work at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport. The House bill passed this week will add more planes, ships and troops at a time Pentagon leaders say the military...
4 of the best ways to turn your home into a cash cow
4 of the best ways to turn your home into a cash cow

Your house is a large expense with many associated costs like a mortgage payment, insurance, maintenance and more. It provides a roof over your head, of course, but since it usually costs you money each month, why not put it to work for you and earn some cash in the process? The following are four ways your house can make you money: If you're planning...
6 things to know about working for Uber
6 things to know about working for Uber

Uber has been making headlines in recent months for everything from a new CEO to industry regulation. But if you want to work as a driver for the service that revolutionized the taxi-transport industry, there is more important information about Uber you'll want to check out. Here are six things you need to know about Uber before working for them...
Hatch to Sherrod Brown: ‘Don’t spew this stuff at me’
Hatch to Sherrod Brown: ‘Don’t spew this stuff at me’

Sen. Sherrod Brown and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch are garnering attention today for a yelling match they had last night at a hearing over the tax reform bill working its way through the Senate. Hatch, a Utah Republican, took umbrage at comments by Brown saying the tax bill will help the rich at the expense of the poor. &ldquo...
Elder-Beerman parent company to close 40 stores
Elder-Beerman parent company to close 40 stores

Bon-Ton Stores Inc., the parent company of Elder-Beerman, will close at least 40 stores by the end of 2018. The retailer will shutter about a sixth of its 260 department stores, furniture galleries and clearance centers. The chain has Elder-Beerman stores at the Dayton Mall, Mall at Fairfield Common and several others at Dayton area locations...
More Stories