SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — When the U.S. Energy Department mentioned in a report this week that retail gasoline prices could top $4 per gallon later this year and diesel prices may rise 14% this year, that should’ve been cause for alarm for consumers who have already seen a steady climb in fuel prices in the last three months.
“Retail gasoline and diesel prices are usually near their lowest point for the year between December and February,” said Brian Milne, refined fuels editor at Telvent DTN. But the run-up in prices started in the fourth quarter, with prices continuing to climb on expectations that “an improving U.S. and world economy will bolster demand for fuel.” See Economic Report on the impact of gasoline prices on consumer sentiment this month.
Consumers last saw $4 per gallon prices at the pump in September of 2008, according to data from the Oil Price Information Service. Regular gasoline reached a record high at $4.11 per gallon on July 17, 2008.
Notice how little this is being played up in the price. If it was a GOP president all hell would have broken loose by now.