GasBuddy Heat Map
Evaluating last week's prediction for this week, I said "By next Monday, I expect the national average in the U.S. to drop to $2.83 while prices in Canada will rise to 106.2c/L." Taking a look this morning, the average is $2.949 for the U.S. and 107.9c/L in Canada. Ouch! It was very difficult to foresee oil prices rising like they did after I made my early week prediction! We'll call last week a "try again"!
This week could be another week of increases, although I don't expect to see as sharp of increases in the U.S. or Canada. Seeing the national average rise 10-cents in one week is among the steepest weekly increases we've seen this year, and we're now close to seeing the highest prices so far this year. In fact, a growing number of areas are seeing prices over $3/gal- some for the first time in over two years.
Having said that, this week, prices will continue to rise at retail pumps. What wholesale prices do is another story separately. If you haven't noticed, we're very close to seeing $90 oil for the first time in over two years, and if we breach that level, we could easily see oil rise to $92-$94/bbl, which would mean another rapid rise in gasoline prices.
If prices do not breach the $90/bbl level after a few attempts, we may also see prices drop slightly. No matter what, I think the biggest impact on where prices go this week will be dictated by improvements or concerns about the economy. If reports or news indicates a healthy economy, we could break through $90 oil. If debt or other concerns reign, prices could drop.
This week will be difficult to forecast, but I'll say by next Monday we'll see U.S. prices at $2.98 with prices in Canada at 109.4c/L.