The economy has enjoyed high consumer confidence of late. In fact, the index hit its highest level in 13 years in December. The Conference Board, which tracks consumer confidence, attributed the result to expectations tied to the economy, jobs and income post-election.
And, of course, gas prices are closely linked to consumer confidence. As one goes, the other usually follows—in the opposite direction. Let’s hope that’s not the case in coming months, as prices are expected to increase.
GasBuddy, a gas price analyst firm, predicts that in 2017 the national average for a gallon of gas will be $2.49, or 36 cents higher than last year.
The forecaster said the 20 largest cities in the country should brace for prices as high as $3 per gallon.
Already, prices have seen a slight uptick from $2.17 in November to $2.24 in December. This runs counter to trend since gas prices are typically lower at the end of the year.
The predicted surge is seen as a reaction to OPEC’s announcement in November that it would cut crude oil production by 1.2 million barrels a day starting the first of this year. Later, other oil-producing countries followed suit, announcing cutbacks of their own.
The increase also coincides with higher gas taxes in seven U.S. states, the largest of which is Pennsylvania, which will see a 7.9 cent increase per gallon.
Prices, though higher, aren’t expected to break any records. And, as only one factor that influences consumer spending, the net affect of higher prices at the pump might be low.
“While gasoline prices nearly always follow the same direction as crude oil and represent an important barometer for consumers and their personal budgets, the increases we anticipate this year may be met with less resistance than in the past if economic improvement softens the blow,” said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst, GasBuddy. “If the Trump Administration delivers on its promises; lower taxes, more jobs, higher salaries and savings…then a concurrent increase in demand and gasoline prices may be easier to digest.”
A look at how companies that failed to react and adapt to changing times have allowed new brands that are better tapped into the zeitgeist to steal share.Read more
Print PDFPrint PDFWhen times are tough, companies are more willing to test new ideas and Target, Warby Parker and Amazon are pushing the boundaries of traditional retail. Target gets in bed with Casper After failed attempts at an acquisition, Target has instead invested in Casper...Read more
J.Crew has been shifting in its seat trying to adjust to a new normal of shrinking sales and growing debt, but nothing has quite yet paid off, so the company is cutting its prices.Read more
It’s official. Coach, Inc. is snapping up shares of handbag brand Kate Spade.Read more
This week, consumers called for better children's apparel, retailers turned internally to remedy their financial woes and apparel incubators improved China's manufacturing sector.Read more
Whether and how much consumers care about sustainability may be an ongoing question the industry wants an answer for, but one thing that’s clear is that though some consumers do care, sustainability isn’t the first thing they think of.Read more
Gymboree tapped former Tilly's executive Daniel Griesemer as its new CEO, JC Penney appointed Marci Grebstein as its new EVP and Wolford creative director Grit Seymour is leaving the company.Read more