Gas and oil prices move upThe Associated Press | February 04,2013AP Photo
Samir Shabo fills his tank at a Mobil gas station in Chicago last week. Gasoline prices jumped at the end of the week as rising economic growth boosted oil prices and temporary refinery outages crimped gasoline supplies on the East and West Coasts.NEW YORK — Weekend travelers did a double-take at the gas station after Friday’s biggest one-day pop in pump prices in nearly two years.
The nationwide average price for a gallon of gas jumped 4 cents overnight to $3.46 a gallon Friday, according to AAA. That made a three-day gain of 10 cents and, for the first time in 2013, gas now costs more than it did a year ago.
The biggest increases happened out West. The average price in California rose nearly 6 cents Friday to $3.82 a gallon.
The largest previous one-day gain occurred on March 4, 2011, when the average price jumped by 4.4 cents.
Overall, gas prices are now up 17 cents this year. The main reason is a 6.5 percent increase in the price of oil. But a heavy schedule of January maintenance at West Coast refineries has contributed to sharply higher prices. Meanwhile, low supplies of gas have pushed prices higher on the East Coast.
Hopes of stronger economic growth in the U.S. and abroad helped push the U.S. stock market to a five-year high in January and sent crude prices up. When economies expand, more gasoline, diesel and jet fuel are consumed by shippers and travelers.
Retail gasoline prices have risen for 15 days straight, according to AAA, Oil Price Information Service, and Wright Express. The average price for the month of January was $3.32, the second highest January average ever, although a nickel cheaper than last year’s record.
The national average price has risen in nine of the last 10 Februarys. Last year gasoline prices jumped 28 cents, or 8 percent, in February and averaged $3.55 for the month. Analysts still don’t expect prices to follow last year’s steep path through March that brought them to a high of $3.94 on April 6.
Meanwhile, oil rose Friday as traders took their cue from the soaring stock market, after some initial disappointment with the latest report on U.S. employment, which saw 157,000 jobs added in January.
Oil dropped about $1 right after the report was released. It turned around as U.S. stock markets opened higher. Also, a separate report showed U.S. manufacturing activity grew at a faster pace in January, which is a good sign for oil demand.
Benchmark oil for March delivery rose 28 cents to finish at $97.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, was up $1.21 to end at $116.76 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.MORE IN National / World BusinessNEW YORK — The stock market moved lower Friday, snapping four days of gains, as U.S. Full StoryNEW YORK — Apparently, airline passengers aren’t buying enough garden gnomes, superhero pajamas... Full StorySome McDonald’s workers who say they were fired because of their race are suing the fast-food... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 971 AD, Southern Han war elephant corps defeated by Song Dynasty troops bowmen; in 1870, Montana, Marias massacre, U.S. kills 173 Native Americans; in 1941, Charles Lindbergh recommends neutrality pact with Nazis.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Bryanna Allen reports Castleton Downtown hosts open house, fire in Springfield leaves family without a roof of their own, suspected Bosnian war criminal trial goes to jury, Brent Curtis reports Rutland Town budget set to rise.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Bill in Legislature proposes naming beagle Vermont state dog; Associated Press looks back at year in opiate abuse; Shapiro's in Brandon soon to close after 75 years; probe shows illegal online gun sales booming.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1861, JEFFERSON DAVIS resigns from the U.S. Senate to become president of the Confederate States of America, in 1908, NYC passes law forbidding women from smoking in public; in 1968, B-52 crashes, loses H-bomb.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Aldermen debate request for $75K from Zamias Fund for Wonderfeet museum, Bryanna Allen covers CSC Spring Convocation, proponents of sugary drinks tax meet press at State House, Neal Goswami reports revenue forecast for state.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Oil prices continue to drop, good news for Vermonters who heat their homes with the stuff; Pawlet man still missing after one year, icy road make driving and walking sketchy propositions, funding for B&G Clubs announced.