gas prices

Inflation Rises At Fastest Pace In 5 Years

It’s been some time since a Survival And Prosperity post focused on inflation.

I suspect I’ll be blogging about it more in the coming months.

Jeffry Bartash wrote on MarketWatch this morning:

Inflation rose in 2016 at the fastest pace in five years, as rising rents and medical care and higher gas prices put a squeeze on consumers.

The consumer price index jumped 0.3% in December, the government said Wednesday…

A string of sharp gains since late summer helped drive up inflation by 2.1% for the full year, marking the biggest increase since a 3% gain in 2011

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Bartash added:

For now it doesn’t look like inflation will wane soon. Gas prices rose again in January and many economists predict that aggressive stimulative measures by the new Trump administration could lead to even higher inflation

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Jeffrey Sparshott added over on The Wall Street Journal website late this afternoon:

The latest figures- driven in part by an uptick in energy prices- suggest a four-year stretch of historically low inflation could be ending

While details remain uncertain, the president-elect has pledge lower taxes and more infrastructure spending. That could lead to faster economic growth and accelerating inflation

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

As to what this might mean for interest rates, Fed Chair Janet Yellen spoke to the Commonwealth Club of California this afternoon. Ann Saphir reported on the Retuers website:

With the U.S. economy close to full employment and inflation headed toward the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent goal, it “makes sense” for the U.S. central bank to gradually lift interest rates, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday…

The Fed chief said that she and other Fed policymakers expected the central bank to lift its key benchmark short-term rate “a few times a year” through 2019, putting it near the long-term sustainable rate of 3 percent

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Bartash, Jeffry. “Inflation climbs at fastest pace in 5 years, CPI shows.” MarketWatch. 18 Jan. 2017. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/inflation-climbs-in-2016-at-fastest-pace-in-5-years-cpi-shows-2017-01-18). 18 Jan. 2017.

Sparshott, Jeffrey. “U.S. Inflation Gauge Tops 2%, Supporting Fed’s Plan to Raise Rates.” The Wall Street Journal. 18 Jan. 2017. (http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-consumer-prices-up-2-1-in-december-from-year-earlier-1484746534). 18 Jan. 2017.

Saphir, Ann. “Fed’s Yellen says ‘make sense’ to gradually raise interest rates.” Reuters. 18 Jan. 2017. (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed-yellen-idUSKBN1522VH). 18 Jan. 2017.

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Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 Commodities, Employment, Energy, Federal Reserve, Government, Health, Housing, Inflation, Infrastructure, Interest Rates, Monetary Policy, Stimulus, Taxes Comments Off on Inflation Rises At Fastest Pace In 5 Years

Chicago Has Highest Average Price Of Gas In The U.S.

Recently, a stack of bills came in the mail. One of them was for renewing the lawn care service that my girlfriend and I used last year. Everything was pretty much the same- except for a new fuel surcharge to compensate for the rising price of gas in the area.

Which really isn’t surprising, considering what I saw at the various Chicagoland gas stations less than two weeks ago and a new report saying the city of Chicago has the highest average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the country, once again.

Christian Farr wrote on the website of Chicago NBC affiliate NBC 5 yesterday:

The average U.S. price of a gallon of gasoline has risen 5 cents in the past two weeks, which especially doesn’t doesn’t bode well for Chicago drivers.

The Lundberg Survey of fuel prices released Sunday says the price of a gallon of regular is $3.61, the highest price in Lundberg’s twice-monthly surveys since late July 2013…

According to Gasbuddy.com, the average price for Illinois is $3.84 a gallon and $4.05 a gallon for the city of Chicago, which is the highest in the country

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

The Chicago area routinely has the highest average price for a gallon of gas in the United States as of late. Consider these past post headlines of mine:

“Chicago Drivers Paying Nation’s Highest Average Gas Price”

-April 25, 2011

“Price Of Gas In Chicagoland Area Sets New AAA Record”

-March 26, 2012

“Chicago Has Highest Gas Price Of U.S. Cities In Lower 48 States”

-September 10, 2013

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Farr, Christian. “Chicago Leads Nationwide Gas Price Spike.” NBC 5. 8 Apr. 2014. (http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Survey-Shows-Gas-Prices-Are-Rising-254290651.html). 9 Apr. 2014.

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Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 Energy, Transportation, Vehicles 2 Comments

Seen On The Streets, Part 10

While I’ve been doing quite a bit of driving around the Northwest Side of Chicago and surrounding suburbs lately, I’ve noticed the price at the pump has been rising.

I filled up the Flintstone Mobile for $3.99 a gallon of regular gas last weekend, and noticed that was typically the same price at the various stations I drove by yesterday while in the west suburbs.

From the Journal & Topics Newspapers (northwest suburbs) website yesterday:

Gas prices in the Chicago-area are quickly approaching $4 per gallon.

The average price of a gallon of regular gas peaked at $3.98 last week and had only fallen to $3.95 as of Friday.

Gas prices in the Chicago-area are expected to continue their rise, peaking in late April or early May between $4.10 and $4.25 a gallon in Chicago…

(Editor’s note: Bold- yes, bold now- added for emphasis)

If the cost at the pump does indeed go higher, I predict irritated drivers will start showing up on the local news again like they did in the summer of 2008.

Question is, will they also start cutting back on spending in other areas like they did that year?

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

“Gas Prices Spiking Again.” Journal & Topics Newspapers. 26 Mar. 2014. (http://www.journal-topics.com/business/article_3c8eed54-b526-11e3-b729-001a4bcf6878.html). 27 Mar. 2014.

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Thursday, March 27th, 2014 Energy, Seen On The Streets, Spending, Transportation Comments Off on Seen On The Streets, Part 10

Chicago Has Highest Gas Price Of U.S. Cities In Lower 48 States

Nothing takes a bite out of prosperity like high prices at the pump.

And as U.S. cities in the Lower 48 states are concerned, Chicago takes the top spot here.

While on the website of Lundberg Survey, an independent market research company offering local and national coverage of fuel prices, I spotted the following in a linked Associated Press article from Monday:

The average price of regular gasoline in the U.S. has risen 3 cents a gallon during the past two weeks…

Lundberg says a gallon of regular now costs $3.58 on average. Midgrade costs $3.77 and premium is $3.91.

Of the cities surveyed in the Lower 48 states, Chicago has the highest price at $3.92 a gallon. Tucson, Ariz., has the lowest at $3.27.

Blame it on Syria, right?

Is there any wonder why I fill my gas tank to the brim while I’m in Wisconsin?

(Editor’s note: According to WisconsinGasPrices.com this morning, the station I frequent there charges $3.55 a gallon- 37 cents cheaper compared to Chicago)

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

“US gas prices rise 3 cents a gallon.” Associated Press. 9 Sep. 2013. (http://news.yahoo.com/us-gas-prices-rise-3-143222010.html;_ylt=A2KJNTsl_S1SOQsAy6XQtDMD). 10 Sep. 2013.

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Tuesday, September 10th, 2013 Energy, Middle East, Transportation, Travel, Vehicles Comments Off on Chicago Has Highest Gas Price Of U.S. Cities In Lower 48 States

AAA Predicts Falling Gas Prices, Except In Great Lakes Region

Usually around this time of year, I commute more often between my pad in Chicago and my family’s place in southeastern Wisconsin. While that won’t be happening as much in 2013 due to everything that’s going on around here, I still like to keep on top of gas prices to get an idea of how much I’ll be shelling out to enjoy the open road.

(Editor’s note: Open road my butt. This is the Chicago metropolitan area, where if bumper-to-bumper gridlock isn’t taking place, you’re dealing with drivers who are distracted, in a hurry to go nowhere, or who really just don’t care about the rules of the road. And a “good drive” is one where you don’t lose a hubcap/wheel cover from a pothole that goes all the way to China.)

Venting process complete.

Anyway, here’s some highlights from the “AAA Monthly Gas Price Report: April 2013 Trends and Summer Outlook” that’s just been released on the “NewsRoom” section of the AAA website:

• Gas prices nationally averaged $3.55 per gallon in April, which was the least expensive average for the month since 2010. Gas prices dropped about 13 cents per gallon in April (3.5 percent), which was the largest percentage decline for the month in ten years. In comparison, gas prices in 2012 averaged $3.89 for the month, while the average price in April 2011 was $3.79 per gallon.
• Gas prices should drop to $3.20 to $3.40 per gallon by mid-summer if current trends continue in regards to oil prices, motorist demand and refinery production. Gas prices in recent years have declined in early summer after reaching a springtime peak as refineries ramp up gasoline production in anticipation of the summer driving season.
• The cheapest gas prices are predominately in the Southeast where extensive refinery production and lower-than-average taxes have helped keep prices low in comparison to the rest of the country. Gas prices in the Great Lakes region have increased in recent weeks because of planned refinery maintenance and unscheduled outages following recent heavy storms.
• The five states with the highest averages today include: Hawaii ($4.34), Alaska ($3.97), Ill. ($3.91), Calif. ($3.90) and Mich. ($3.79). The five states with the cheapest gas price averages today include: S.C. ($3.23), Tenn. ($3.26), Ala. ($3.27), Ark. ($3.27) and Miss. ($3.28).

As for me in Chicago? Prices at the pump have not only been brutal this spring, but are expected to go higher. Samantha Bomkamp reported on the Chicago Tribune website last night:

AAA said Tuesday that motorists nationwide are paying the lowest springtime gas prices in three years, but don’t tell that to drivers in Illinois.

Despite a recent dip, drivers here are paying the highest average price in the lower 48 states. With a statewide average on Tuesday of $3.91 a gallon, Illinois drivers are paying more than every state except Alaska at $3.97 and Hawaii and $4.34.

Costs are even higher in Chicago where the average price was $4.32 per gallon Tuesday, according to AAA. Prices averaged $4.14 in the suburbs…

While AAA predicts that drivers nationally should see gas prices fall even lower, motorists in Illinois and other Great Lakes states should see even higher prices as maintenance continues on refineries that provide most of the region’s gas supplies.

It’s a good thing I fill up in Wisconsin, where the price of gas is routinely cheaper.

East bound and down, loaded up and truckin’…

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

“AAA Monthly Gas Price Report: April 2013 Trends and Summer Outlook.” AAA. 29 Apr. 2013. (http://newsroom.aaa.com/2013/04/aaa-monthly-gas-price-report-april-2013-trends-and-summer-outlook/). 1 May 2013.

Bomkamp, Samantha. “Gas prices ease nationwide while Ill. marches higher.” Chicago Tribune. 30 Apr. 2013. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-gas-prices-ease-nationwide-while-ill-marches-higher-20130430,0,3861102.story). 1 May 2013.

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Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 Energy, Transportation, Travel, Vehicles Comments Off on AAA Predicts Falling Gas Prices, Except In Great Lakes Region

Repeat Of The 1992 Los Angeles Riots Coming This Summer?

Following up on last night’s post abut urban warfare training exercises in U.S. cities, I noted how one Midwest-based writer recently claimed that an unnamed “high-ranking, military source” in the Department of Homeland Security says the military exercises, conducted jointly with local law enforcement, are being conducted to desensitize urban dwellers in preparation for mass civil unrest in American cities. This is supposedly being done out of fear a currency devaluation, astronomical gas prices, and resistance to more gun “control” which will combine to produce civil strife in America’s urban areas this summer.

Like I wrote yesterday, “take it or leave it” concerning the credibility of this claim. But let’s just suppose for an instant the above is true and these really are the reasons for the exercises.

If that’s the case, then the powers-that-be may have overlooked one more potential flashpoint:

The trial of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin that’s set to begin on June 10.

Yamiche Alcindor reported on the USA TODAY website on February 5:

Trayvon Martin would have turned 18 Tuesday.

Instead, lawyers for George Zimmerman, the man accused of murdering the teen, and prosecutors were back in court, where a judge denied a motion to delay the June 10 trial date and heard arguments about evidence…

In court Tuesday, Judge Debra Nelson denied a motion by Zimmerman lawyer Mark O’Mara to delay the trial date. O’Mara argued that the prosecution has been slow to turn over evidence and that he does not have enough time to prepare his case…

“We’re four months away from trial,” Nelson said. “The court has no reason to continue the case.”

If George Zimmerman is found innocent of the teen’s death, will one or more American urban centers experience rioting not unlike what took place in Los Angeles in 1992 in the wake of the Rodney King trial verdicts?

By itself, I think it’s possible. In conjunction with other miseries, even more so.

And just to remind everyone of just how bad the 1992 Los Angeles riots really were:

• 53 deaths
• 2,000 injured
• 3,600 fires
• 1,100 buildings destroyed
• Up to $1 billion in material losses

And don’t forget the looting…


“1992 LA Riots – Defenseless Store Owner Confront Rioters with Hammer”
YouTube Video

Let justice take its course, but it might be a good idea to keep an eye on that trial and when it’s going to be wrapping up. Especially for the city-dwellers out there.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Alcindor, Yamiche. “Judge denies request for delay in Zimmerman trial.” USA TODAY. 5 Feb. 2013. (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/02/05/trayvon-martin-hearing-birthday/1892419/). 23 Feb. 2013.

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