Tags: Gasoline | prices | rise | crude

WSJ: Gasoline Prices Have Plenty of Room to Rise

By Dan Weil   |   Wednesday, 22 Aug 2012 11:12 AM

The recent jump in crude oil prices has just begun to affect gasoline prices, and that means you should prepare to pay more at the pump soon.

Crude oil futures prices have soared 27 percent over the last two months, The Wall Street Journal reports. But gasoline futures have lagged, with a 19 percent increase.

And even that gain hasn’t translated much at the pump, with retail gas prices up only 7.2 percent during that period, to $3.72 a gallon, according to AAA.

Editor's Note: Economist Warns: ‘Money From Heaven a Path to Hell.’ See Evidence.

Refiners’ inventories of gasoline and diesel fuel have slipped to their lowest point for this time of year since 2008, and gasoline stockpiles have sunk 3 percent from 12 months ago.

The U.S. fuel market "already is tight, and it'll continue to remain tight" in coming months, Zachariah Yurch, head of trading at commodity fund Gamma-Q, tells The Journal. He sees gasoline and diesel prices continuing to appreciate.

Rising gasoline prices are bad news for the economy, of course.

"It's taking money away from what [consumers] would have spent on something else," James Hamilton, an economist at the University of California, San Diego, tells The Journal.

Interestingly enough, gas prices apparently aren’t now a major concern for voters — perhaps because they haven’t risen much yet.

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that fuel and gas prices rank last among 10 factors that voters consider when evaluating President Barack Obama's job performance and the country’s direction.

Healthcare, the economy and jobs top the rankings, according to Reuters.

Editor's Note: Economist Warns: ‘Money From Heaven a Path to Hell.’ See Evidence.

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