Tags: Pricey | Gasoline | Costs | US

Oil Expert Kloza: Pricey Gasoline Costs US $170 Million a Day

Thursday, 08 March 2012 07:27 AM

Rising gasoline prices at the pump have cost the United States $170 million a day since New Year's Eve, says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service in New Jersey.

Gasoline prices fell 0.33 a cent Tuesday, the first decline after a 39-day climbing streak, to $3.764 a gallon.

"Gasoline prices had increased in 2012 by 48.77 cents a gallon, implying a daily cost increase of about $170 million per day for the country, from New Year's Eve levels," Kloza tells the Los Angeles Times.

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Gasoline still continues climbing for many places, including California.

Furthermore, gasoline prices peak in spring and summer when more motorists hit the road and refineries switch to more expensive inputs, meaning more price hikes are on the way, other industry observers say.

"Right now we're forecasting that prices for regular grade gasoline will peak at a national average of $4 per gallon in May," Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst for the NADA Used Car Guide, says in a statement.

Demand for pre-owned automobiles won't suffer too much as prices rise.

"Considering consumers have become accustomed to gasoline prices that averaged more than $3.50 last year, this time around we don't expect to see dramatic shifts in the shopping behavior of consumers for more fuel-efficient vehicles when prices approach the $4 mark," Banks says.

"Looking at opposite ends of the fuel-economy spectrum, prices for used compact cars, like the Ford Focus or Honda Civic, at $4 per gallon will increase by an average of $179," Banks adds.

"Used prices for large SUVs, such as the Chevy Tahoe, will decline by $387, while price adjustments for other vehicle segments will land somewhere in between."

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