More bad news for America's motorists experiencing first hand the objectivity of the Nobel peace prize award committee: all those who were expecting a decline in gasoline prices following one of the fastest jumps in history will have to defer their dreams just a little longer. As Trilby Lundberg observes: "this weekend the world has changed. Instead of seeing the end of the price rise coming up, or even a decline, we might see a resumption of the climb at the pump." And as we enter April with near record high prices (for this time of the year -gas is still 54 cebts below its all time summer high in July 2008), this month's consumer confidence number will once again print sorely lacking, causing the most reflexive market indicator to take another step down demanding every more nuanced attention from the Fed, which will soon have no choice but to step in and replace consumption lost (read buy the Russel 2000) due to unprecedented gas prices, further detaching markets from the underlying economy, and not to mention reality. Yet even these nosebleed US gas prices are nothing compared to the decimation in Europe, where gas is now likely almost $9/gallon (when we observed it last two weeks ago, it was $8.632/gallon). Does anyone wonder why France is so eager to liberate the Libyan people from the oppression of their light sweet crude oil, er, pardon, dictatorial regime...
Gasoline prices in the United States rose 6.65 cents per gallon over a two-week period, carried by the rise in crude oil prices stemming from the turmoil in Libya, an industry analyst said.
The national average for a gallon of self-serve, regular gasoline was $3.57 on March 18, according to the Lundberg Survey of about 2,500 gas stations.
The 6.65-cent increase came two weeks after gasoline prices jumped almost 33 cents in the prior two-week period, according to survey editor Trilby Lundberg.
"This is the rest of what crude oil prices did to gasoline, as violence and protest in varying degrees swept through" oil-producing countries in the Middle East and Africa, Lundberg said in an interview on Sunday.
Prices in crude oil "declined somewhat in the last two weeks," she said, citing some traders' fears that the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan "might mean economic devastation."
But after U.S. and European forces started a military intervention in Libya this weekend, oil prices may be headed for another spike, according to Lundberg.
"This weekend the world has changed," she said. "Instead of seeing the end of the price rise coming up, or even a decline, we might see a resumption of the climb at the pump."
The current average price is nearly 76 cents above the year-ago level, but is still about 54 cents below the all-time high of $4.1124 on July 11, 2008.