Views on commodities and energy
With the summer driving season, under way, American drivers are once again feeling the impact of higher gasoline prices on their wallets. Read the full story here. Martin Hogarty, a chauffeur from the Bronx, interviewed near a gasoline station on 46th St. and 10th Avenue near Times Square in Manhattan this week, said he’s paying double what he used to pay for gasoline to fill up the car he uses for his chauffeuring business, a GMC Yukon sports utility vehicle. Gasoline prices at the station stood at $2.77 a gallon.
For those who’ve decided to invest in more fuel efficient cars, however, the choice is now paying off. Jose Ferro, a cab driver who was also filling up at the 46th St. station began leasing a hybrid taxi about eight weeks ago said the higher leasing fee is already paying off as gasoline prices climb higher.
Ferro, 72, a retired television commercial producer, who has been driving a cab for about three years said he used to fork out $38-$45 to fill up the Ford he used to lease, compared with about $10 to fill up the hybrid, which means a little bit extra take-home pay.
Despite Americans’ complaints about the rising cost of gasoline, Reuters data shows that the price Americans are paying for gasoline is well below prices drivers in many other developing countries pay.
While the summer driving season has been underway for only two weeks, gasoline prices have already blown expert forecasts for highs for the summer.
Average prices at the pump on Monday were $2.62 a gallon, according to AAA, up 16 percent from just a month ago, and over the $2.50 a gallon high that AAA had forecast for the entire summer. Last week, AAA spokesman Geoff Sundstrom said the group revised its forecast for the summer high to $2.75 a gallon.
U.S. gasoline demand has showed signs of picking up over the past month, edging up 1.6 percent over the past for weeks according to government data. Analysts say lower pump prices have led some Americans to drive more. U.S. demand fell last year for the first time since 1991 as gasoline and crude prices raced to record highs, with further pressure coming later in the year due to the economic crisis.
The above graph shows five years of gasoline consumption in the world’s top consumer, compared with the average price for a gallon of U.S. gasoline.