COOS BAY — Just days after AAA predicted cheaper gasoline this summer, pump prices started marching upward.
Chalk it up to good news from Wall Street, says Marie Dodds, AAA Oregon/Idaho.
“In a nutshell, what happens most of the time is crude oil tends to go up after positive economic news,” she said by phone on Friday. “The thought is that a growing economy will lead to more gas usage.”
So, could lower gas prices lead to positive economic forecasts, leading in turn to higher gas prices?
“It is a bizarre cycle,” Dodds said.
However, she added, there has also been the concern that the situation in Syria could disrupt the fuel market. In the spring of both 2011 and 2012, oil prices rose substantially on violence and escalating geopolitical tensions, then tumbled as these concerns were alleviated heading into the summer.
Whatever the reason now, crude oil is skyrocketing.
On April 17, West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled at $86.68 a barrel. This week it’s trading above $95.
Dodds points out the news is not necessarily bad, since it’s based on the Dow’s record numbers. The silver lining for Oregon is that the peak gas prices this summer should still be lower than those of recent years.
For now, the average gas price in Coos Bay has jumped to $3.89, from $3.64 last week.