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Gasoline Prices Consuming More Household Income Than Ever

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On February 4, 2013 @ 11:14 pm In The Point | 5 Comments

After the Recovery Summer, came the Recovery Fall and now we’re deep in Recovery Winter. Then it’ll be time for Recovery Spring and all the other four seasons coming around again and again. Because when you’re deep in the Obama Recession, then you can never Recovery too often. And like the flu, no matter how often the country recovers, it keeps coming down with recession again.

Forget the Groundhogs, the best sign that we’re in Recovery Winter is that gas prices are higher than ever. But that’s probably Bush’s fault.

The national average price of retail gasoline posted its biggest one-day increase in 23 months on Friday. According to AAA, the national average price of regular gasoline is $3.52 a gallon, 4 cents higher than the average price a year ago. The average price was $3.35 a gallon a week ago and $3.30 a gallon a month ago.

Retail gasoline prices have also hit a new milestone. “This is the highest price record for February 1st,” says OPIS analyst Tom Kloza.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Monday that gasoline expenditures in 2012 for the average U.S. household reached $2,912, or just under 4 percent of income before taxes. This was the highest estimated percentage of household income spent on gasoline in nearly three decades, with the exception of 2008, when the average household spent a similar amount. Gasoline prices averaged $3.63 a gallon in 2012, according to EIA.

Analysts said the uncharacteristically early price rise is due to several factors: some refineries closing permanently or shutting down for maintenance, climbing crude oil prices, and a shortage of supply in California, requiring fuel to be diverted from other areas of the country to make up for reduced inventories.

Going Green has its price. So does reelecting a man whose idea of fixing the economy is destroying it. And so the grim Recovery Winter marches on until the economy finally sees its shadow in 2016.


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