As of noon EDT, it appears the recent rally in oil and gasoline futures has reversed its steep climb- knock on wood! The recent rally led to an increase of nearly 35-cents in wholesale gasoline prices, prompting the huge increases this week. While the rally may be running out of steam, don't expect retail prices to stop climbing.
I threw together a chart to show how long it has been since the U.S. has seen such a sharp increase in 7 days that we're in the middle of this week. I had to go back to the beginning of this year- January- to find a sharper increase- and we still have a few days until this week is over- so we could see the largest weekly increase since 2008. The chart at the top shows rolling 7 day price swings for the last five years (going to October 2005).
What precipitated this huge increase from out of nowhere? Likely a few things. The last DOE report in September was lousy, and it just so happened that a jobless report issued around the same time was better than expected, breathing life into a stock market and oil futures battered by mixed news. Then came another mediocre DOE report this week, and a fire at a Midwest refinery.
I've seen prices here locally shoot up from $2.39 a week ago to $2.83 today- a huge increase. While I expect we're nearing the top of this roller coaster ride, I still expect more ups and downs in the upcoming months.
For this weekend, I'm all but certain that gasoline prices will increase nearly everywhere as stations increase their prices as increases in their wholesale cost are passed on to us. Lucky us!