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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Pain at the Pump

In my workshop yesterday, I asked how many people thought gasoline prices would get to $4 this summer. Only a few hands went up. Well, it turns out some motorists in the US are already paying $4 per gallon. $5 per gallon, anybody?

Some gasoline facts …

  • Pump prices have soared 43% since the end of January.
  • The average U.S. household is already spending $1,000 more per year on gasoline than it did five years ago. That's an increase of 85%, and rural households have been hardest hit because they spend about 20 percent more on gas than urban residents.
  • Most Americans are locked into their driving habits and can do little to alter their fuel-buying patterns when prices rise, experts say. For example, the number of workers with commutes lasting longer than 60 minutes grew by almost 50 percent between 1990 and 2000, according to Census Bureau data.
  • Weekly gasoline demand in April increased as much as 1.9 percent over the same weeks in 2006, even as the average national price of a gallon of gasoline grew from $2.71 to $2.97 by the end of the month.

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