Gas prices have inched up to $3 per gallon as travelers get ready to stay moving during the Christmas holiday. Gas 2.0 reports the price of a gallon of gas has risen above $3 for the first time in over two years. The average price of a gallon of gas is $3.013, with California at the highest price and Colorado with the lowest. They predict, if the economy keeps growing, we’ll be paying $3.62 a gallon by the time summer travel season rolls around. Just as we saw before the recession, gas prices go up when the demand rises.
My Holiday Travel
My own travel plans will not really be affected. We’re going to St. Louis to visit my folks for a little bit anyway, provided the weather cooperates. As of right now, we may have to cancel those plans with the weather. Gas was already about 20 cents more expensive per gallon in Missouri before December even arrived.
For my family, the extra money amounts to about an extra $1.25 per tank of gas. It takes one tank to get to St. Louis, and another tank to get back. We’ll probably use another whole tank when we go around town. Our gas expenses won’t be affected too much, as we go from Branson, Mo., to St. Louis.
At least gas prices aren’t at summer of 2008 levels–those were obnoxious. Even though we didn’t suffer as much as struggling home owners who had to decide between a mortgage or paying for gas, $4 per gallon of gas was over the top.
December 2011: A Look Ahead
As economists look forward to 2011, there is a sure sign the crystal ball will be about a growing economy. NPR reports AAA says 3 percent more people will be traveling this year for the holidays. OPEC reports the price for a barrel of oil is now above $90, after rising nearly 50 cents on Dec. 22. Oil prices won’t be going up too much, as OPEC agreed to maintain oil production levels at the same pace as before.
When production stays the same and demand rises, then supplies will be shorter. It may take longer for gas stations to get their supplies of fuel, and oil companies may have to ramp up production. The price of oil may continue to rise in the next year if demand outstrips supply as the economy recovers.
In December, there will be a much stronger economy, and higher gas prices, but more people will be able to afford them. The overall economy is good when gas prices are higher because the demand has become greater and it takes time for oil companies to adapt for increased production.
Gas 2.0, “Gasoline Prices Hit $3 a Gallon Nationwide.”
AAA, “AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report.”
NPR, “Going’s Good For Most Holiday Travelers, For Now.”
OPEC, “OPEC 158th Meeting concludes.”