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.”
Golf apparel is undergoing major transformation with the help of technology developments.Read more
This week the apparel industry grappled with political views, transformed New York Fashion Week with new technologies and promoted sustainable wardrobes among sports fans.Read more
Adidas changes up its executive fleet this week. Plus, Ralph Lauren created two new executive roles and Tom Ford appointed a new president.Read more
The sporting goods sector can’t seem to catch a break in this changing retail environment.Read more
In one year, retailers that are all in with personalization will outsell companies that aren’t by more than 30 percent.Read more
Forget hem lengths, activism was the single biggest trend at the Fall/Winter 2017 New York Fashion Week.Read more
U.S. apparel imports decreased in 2016 as retailers tightened inventory levels and prices trended downward.Read more